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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