Impostor: Gary Sinise and the Aliens

impostor‘Impostor’ is a chilling tale of alien infiltration and government control. Yes, I know the word is really spelled ‘imposter’, but the film’s title is spelled with an ‘or ending, which I assume is intentional on writer Philip K. Dick’s part. Gary Sinise stars as Dr. Spencer Olham, a patriotic pacifist who heads up a secretive science division within the defense department. The year is 2079, and Earth has been at war with aliens from Alpha Centauri since 2024, when Centauri ships attacked, killing millions and destroying major landmarks (like Washington, D.C.). Cities rebuilt and added protective force field domes that (theoretically) prevent the Centauri from reaching the major, protected cities. Of course, the less ‘significant’ cities burn.

The plot is simple: Olham might be a Centauri-made, android replicant. An overreaching, over-empowered Earth agency called Earth Security Administration (DHS on steroids) seeks out potential ‘replicants’ and slices and dices them into confessing–but confession or not, those accused always die. The chief enforcer is Major Hathaway, played to perfection by Vincent D’Onofrio (yeah, the guy who played the big bug in the original ‘Men in Black’).

Dr. Olham is taken captive early in the film, but he escapes by using trickery and a kick-butt style you wouldn’t expect from a scientist. Of course, if Olham really IS a replicant, then he might have all kinds of cool moves, right?

I won’t spoil the ending, but the film asks some disturbing questions. What would Earth do if ‘aliens’ really did attack? (I’ve put aliens in quotes because I do not believe beings from other planets are visiting–rather such visitations have supernatural–even Biblical explanations). Secondly, would such an attack unite the globe, and would the attack warrant extreme measures from secret agencies?

Like many ‘sleeper’ films with overt memes, ‘Impostor’ died at the box office. One wonders if the real ‘Impostor’ is the film itself, posing as an alien invasion  movie when in fact it’s all about global governance. D’Onofrio’s character sees alien replicants everywhere. In one scene with the Secretary of Defense, Hathaway is asked to defend his methods. The Secretary asks if butchering suspects–eleven of whom were HUMAN–isn’t over the top. And how does Hathaway sleep at night? Major Hathaway doesn’t even blink, replying that the twelfth victim WAS a replicant–and that he sleeps like a baby.

You know, my first thought on seeing Sinise as the star was how he’d also starred in Mission to Mars, a film featuring a major ‘Earth seeded by aliens’ meme. At the end, Sinise’s character blasted off to parts unknown. Who knows? Maybe he landed in Alpha Centauri.

Bottom line: If you have 90 minutes to spare and are searching for a movie with memes, check out Impostor (I watched on Netflix).