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The Relic (Widescreen) (Bilingual)

Penelope Ann Miller , Tom Sizemore , Peter Hyams    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
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Relic Relic 3.4 out of 5 stars (87)
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Do yourself a favor: pick up a copy of Alien, Ridley Scott's brilliant sci-fi/horror masterpiece, instead of wasting your time on The Relic. This patent rip-off of just about every other worthy horror and/or disaster flick certainly looks good in the packaging: a sturdy cast led by Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Oscar-winner Linda Hunt; a reliable director (Peter Hyams); and a creepy enough setting--Chicago's Museum of Natural History, where an anticipated exhibition about tribal artifacts called "Superstition" is about to debut. OK. So far, so good. But some of the pieces scheduled for show have crossed customs even though the freighter that has hauled them north is found adrift and empty--its crew the victims of a mysterious creature that is soon on the rampage in the museum.

The Relic relies on huge leaps of faith to engage the viewer, and finally offers nothing to elevate what could have been good fun--poking here and there at several different movie genres--to a higher level . Ultimately, the film suffers most from its own self-consciousness--it knows it's a carbon copy of better predecessors, and its awkwardness is apparent. The otherwise glossy production is so dimly lit that it's a struggle to tell what's going on, and everything in this tepid formula piece about genetic mutation gone awry is further marred by cheesy special effects. It's almost as if the movie is trying to run away from itself and hide. Try as they may, the cast is saddled with dull, wishy-washy characters who are predictably doomed or saved, depending on their place in the food chain. While the trick in any good sci-fi film is to make the monster as smart--or smarter--than its pursuers, The Relic relegates its mutated horror to less than brainy turf and the war between good and evil is never much of a war at all--just a noisy, bloody, borrowed mess. --Paula Nechak

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The Relic

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Read the book first June 17 2003
By A Customer
Before you see this movie, you should really do yourself a favor and read the book. "The Relic" is basically the dumbed-down version of "Relic," the novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, an amazing and scary read. For the general moviegoer, The Relic simplifies the story significantly. Missing are two of the most influential characters, Special Agent Pendergast and the journalist, Bill Smithback. Greg Kawakita becomes Greg Lee, and his character is so much simpler in the movie. Mrs. Rickman, Ian Cuthbert, and Dr. Wright are combined into a single character, a female Dr. Cuthbert. Whittelsey becomes Whitney (presumably for the ease of the characters' speech). Also, the fictional museum is moved from New York to Chicago (why, I cannot say).
Basically, the plot is the same: people start turning up dead, horiffically slashed and decapitated, on the eve of the opening of the museum's new Superstition Exhibit. No one believes it's a monster, but of course, it is. Duh. Chaos ensues.
Let me take a moment to talk about the monster. In the novel, the monster, Mbwun, is terrifying. When it is finally seen, it is revealed to be quite manlike... which of course makes sense, given its origins. However, in the movie, the creature (whose name is changed to Kothoga, probably to aid in pronunciation again), while wicked awesome cool, just doesn't fit with the story. It'd be better off in an action movie, not a straight horror. In fact, the scariest parts of the movie occur before the monster is even seen (which is the thing with most of these movies).
Bottom line: as a movie, "The Relic" is quite entertaining. Compared to the novel, it falls short.
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I have seen the bad reviews and I think they are missing the point. This is a B monster movie and they are comparing it to Aliens? To me "The Thing" and "An American Werewolf in London" are some of the best monster movies of all time and I see this below them, but fun.
The big question is whether or not you like to watch a monster movie for just being a monster that causes fictionaly mayhem. I grew up watching "Creature Double Feature" with all of those old monster movies. Fact is most Monster Movies are the pits and there has not been too many that are very good at all since now a days they rely on so much CG. Also I find most people do not like the concept of a Monster to begin with; out side of the Vampire; which there has been more than a hundred titles with "Vampire" in it. Oh dear god now there is "Van Helsing" killing Vampires.
So buy it for the pleasure of seeing people attacked for fun and not because you need a masterpiece every time you start up your DVD player because you will quickly find most movies do not hold up to scrutiny. If you feel this way then it is time to start reading the Classics again like Poe since you have raised yourself above this monotony
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2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Dec 26 2003
By Scott
Don't see this movie if you've read the book. The only adaptation I've ever seen that was worse was The Bourne Identity. The book is FAR superior to the film, which takes out all of the things that make the book great, reducing this to a B horror movie. Two of the main sources of conflict in the book (the museum director and the FBI agent Coffey), and the lead hero, are completely left out. So you really have no one to root for. The cop D'Agosta, has a ridiculous trait in that he's superstitious to the point of absurdity in the movie. I guess they thought this was clever since the film revolves around the opening of an exhibit entitled "Superstition." They show him doing superstitious things over and over, like not stepping over bodies, carrying a good luck charm, worrying about black cats, etc. Okay, WE GET IT! The guy's superstitious! We don't need to be hit over the head with it. The ending of the film and the way they kill the creature is rehashed and boring. Margo, played by Penelope Ann Miller, is boring and whiny. You don't really care if she dies.
If you like the standard "creature gets loose and kills everyone" horror movies, you might enjoy this. BUt if you're looking for something deeper and much more scary, I'd highly suggest reading the novel instead.
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2.0 out of 5 stars a good argument for reading July 6 2003
By audrey
Workers and visitors at the NY Museum of Natural History are beginning to turn up torn to shreds, and a big exhibit opening is just days away, as the FBI, police and scientists try to figure out who, or what, is hunting people in the dark, labyrinthine corridors of the museum. I am in the camp that thinks this film is a travesty of the fine book by Preston and Child. As I was reading the book I was envisioning scenes and situations and even the monster and, upon seeing the film about a week later, was disappointed in every way but one.
They had no business keeping the name of the book, since two of the four main characters are eviscerated -- FBI Special Agent Pendergast, the heart of the team, and Bill Smithback, reporter. Unbelievable. Also the monster was not as scary as the book, not even as scary as the drawing on the cover of the book, except in one scene. The movie did do a better job of having Margo battle the monster using her scientific skills, and one of the last sequences, where the creature is on fire and chasing Margo through the museum, is one of the best effects I've ever seen. It's spectacular. But there were also a lot of scenes that made me howl (with derision) whereas the book is fast, intelligent and scary as all getout. Too bad the filmmakers didn't have more respect for the book.
I tried to view the film as independent from the book, wondering if I'd be afraid if I hadn't read the book first, but I honestly don't think I would. This was a real wasted opportunity. All the material was there for a wonderful scary film, and I hope someone else remakes it somewhere down the line.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dusty relic
A museum doesn't seem like a logical place to find a giant primordial reptilian monster with a taste for brains. Read more
Published 6 months ago by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars good fun
saw this when it came out looked for it forever
was surprised to see a bluray bought it
the picture is great the film is fun and
would recommend it to anyone
Published 8 months ago by mark sheldon
5.0 out of 5 stars tres satisfait
j'ai recu le produit en quelques jours et j'en suis satisfait le film etait en excellent etat tout etait ok
Published 17 months ago by andre fillion
3.0 out of 5 stars The two crucial factors
I am only going to mention the high and low of this movie here.

High: The late great Stan Winston might have just peaked his stellar career with Kothoga. Read more
Published on April 27 2010 by Disco Daggett
3.0 out of 5 stars An unwelcome brain sucker that might not be worth your time
The Relic seems to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it movies about which I always seem to be sitting on the fence. Read more
Published on June 11 2008 by Jenny J.J.I.
4.0 out of 5 stars Penelope Ann Miller and hormones
A ship that was supposed to transport some crates from South America to a museum seems to have a crew that lost their heads. The crates finally get flown in. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2007 by bernie
3.0 out of 5 stars buy the book
If you really want a good story, buy the book. There is so much more to the story than what the movie showed. Read more
Published on April 5 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Hypothalumuses.
The book was excellent (as is anything written by duo DOUG PRESTON and LINC CHILD), the film is a thrown-together mess. This is a textbook example of great book-bad movie. Read more
Published on April 3 2004 by Hogarth Hughes
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre At Best
The Relic is supposed to be an intelligent thriller and horror film. Well one out of three isn't that bad. At least it's considered a horror. Read more
Published on March 13 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars ever read the book?
Or any book by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child? Great storytellers, intelligent writing that absorbs the reader. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2003 by Aric Bolger
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