Picks and Pans Review: Eve of Destruction

UPDATED 02/04/1991 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/04/1991 at 01:00 AM EST

Gregory Hines, Renée Soutendijk

The title character is a kind of RoboCopette, an android in human female shape programmed to fight evil as a U.S. super-agent. Soon, though, she gets her circuits out of whack, which brings out lots of latent gender-oriented hostility. She starts throwing men against walls, biting off their crucial appendages and generally working out her feelings.

One fracas sets off the countdown of the destructive device installed in her works, making her a walking nuclear bomb. In short, she is not a chick whose birthday you want to forget.

Soutendijk, a Dutch actress whose only previous English-language film was Forced March, plays the android as well as the scientist who created it in her own image. While Soutendijk does manage to give the android a look of crazed bemusement that sets her off from the superstraight scientist, not much else in this film is worth anyone's attention.

Hines is wasted again, this time as a counterterrorism expert assigned to track down the android after it goes berserk. He and Soutendijk eventually develop a preincipient romantic relationship, but mostly he muddles through relentlessly wretched lines.

Sympathizing with the scientist because her creation has turned into a wanton creature, Hines notes, "This device of yours is horny as well as psychopathic," then thinks about how much in common blowing up terrorists has with inventing mad robots: "We do what we do to help people," he says. "What counts is your intentions were good."

Which is more than could be said for director Duncan (Fire with Fire) Gibbins and his cowriter, Yale (Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession) Udoff, whose intentions would seem to have been to devote less effort and intelligence to this movie than your average 5-year-old does to constructing his current Lego project. (R)

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