The Relic is a rather tired alien clone that generates a little suspense, but wastes it with poor acting and a nonsensical plot. Penelope Ann Miller is an evolutionary biologist working at a museum in Chicago. A mysterious shipment arrives in the museum from Brazil (from a ship found crewless and adrift in Lake Michigan). Soon, a string of killings occur in the deep, dark bowels of the museum…right before a grand fund-raising gala is set to occur. Tom Sizemore is Lt. D’Augusta, the superstitious police detective assigned to investigate the case and catch the killer before the gala, where the mayor of Chicago hopes to woo potential rich backers. Of course, the mysterious Brazillian creature (the Kothoga) behind the killings remains elusive and deadly. The filmmakers have obviously studied the Alien film series, since The Relic has all the earmarks of those earlier films. And it parts, it works. The film is able to generate suspense and deliver a couple of thrills. But the formula only goes so far. When The Relic is forced to deliver original material it falters, from basing its creature on a rather ridiculous pseudoscientific premise to combining a poor script with some pathetic secondary character acting. As a result, the film generates as many unintentional laughs as sheer thrills.
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