Cyberworld

"Extraordinary"

Cyberworld Review


The critique of an IMAX film defies many of the standards against which traditional films are judged, if only because no IMAX picture to date has attempted anything like real storytelling (aside from maybe Wings of Courage, but that's another story). Nevertheless, these are films and it is our responsibility to give them our earnest criticism.

CyberWorld, brought to us in large part by the good people at Intel, is a lush visual trip in the spirit of The Mind's Eye and Beyond the Mind's Eye. In fact, some of the content appears to have been lifted directly out of these films.

After a few moments of sincerely awe-inspiring 3D visual effects, we meet Phig (voiced by Jenna Elfman), our animated hostess, who opens (with her schmanzy little laser wand) the doors to the various short animations that make up this mini-odyssey. Some of these shorts, like the IMAX 3D rendering of a scene from Antz, will be warmly familiar to some viewers. Others, like the IMAX 3D rendering of that tired old 3D Simpsons episode, will be sickeningly familiar to most viewers. A few people around me actually groaned through it at one preview screening.

Still, some of these shorts are so densely packed with visually thrilling moments that only the most inattentive patrons managed to leave without a sense of wonder. Particularly captivating is the first short, Monkey Brain Sushi, which crams so much psychically resonant imagery into just a single minute that it takes several screenings to fully absorb.

Ultimately, though, CyberWorld is limited by its IMAX technology and provides little substance to complement its intense visual rush. (Unless, of course, you eat a sheet of acid before you go, in which case you'll no doubt extract infinite meanings from the various metaphorical movements of the shorts.) In the end, it is little more than eye candy and in 48 short minutes it's over. But, by all means, it is 48 minutes well spent, and arguably it's the best IMAX experience available today.

It's a CyberWorld. We just live in it.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 44 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th October 2000

Box Office USA: $5.2M

Distributed by: IMAX Film Distribution

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

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