One day about a year ago, my friend dragged me down excitedly to the workplace cafeteria to talk about a movie he’d seen sometime back. The movie was The Thirteenth Floor and after he revealed the story of the movie, we animatedly discussed the possibilities of such a world. It was uber fun. This weekend I finally caught up with the movie.
Fuller, a virtual reality game researcher is murdered one night. A police detective shows up at the home of Douglas Hall to investigate. Hall is the CEO of the company founded by Fuller. Hall has no idea why or how Fuller was killed. But, he soon finds out that Fuller had left a message for him before his murder inside the game. The game is a full scale simulation of Los Angeles of 1937. The real kick in the game being that the characters each have a real life and consciousness. The player gets to download his consciousness into any of the characters and experience their life in real time. Hall gets inside the game and soon finds out that Fuller was leading a life of pleasure inside the game regularly. One of the characters in the game has discovered Fuller’s message and refuses to reveal it to Hall. Why did Fuller have to leave a message to Hall inside the game? What are the limits of any real/virtual world? What happens when a conscious being inside a virtual game discovers his world is not real?
I liked the movie. With no-name actors and not much effects, it is almost a B-grade flick. Keep your expectations low and the movie will turn out to be a lot of fun. It is loosely based on the sci-fi novel Simulacron-3. Incidentally, this movie was released in the same year as The Matrix which it resembles at many levels. It is quite obvious that the Wachowski brothers borrowed some elements from this movie into The Matrix Reloaded.