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The world has gone to Hell, and Hell has sent it back! By 2068, war and ecological assaults have ravaged the Earth's atmosphere. Camps of survivors fight for whatever scraps of food remain, using anything to survive - including other humans. Former US soldier Captain John Thomas Garth is hired by former soldier Lapiree to lead a team of mercenaries into the Vincent Estate to retrieve pricless art stored just before the world was left in ruins. Garth and his team find the Vincent Estate has an automated defense system code-named Encrypt. Guided by a holographic Chinese woman named Diana (Vivian Wu), Garth and his team find themselves in a maze of deadly obstacles, including a deadly robot called the Rook, as Diana holds the key that could bring about the destruction of the entire world.
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The film takes place in a post war setting where the enviorment has been ravaged by bio chimical weapons. The atmosphere has been destroyed due to chemical atmoshpehric warfare. (Not apocolyptic this time) Garth is a former US army captain who lives in a city with a band of survivors. Their exsistence is bleak since food has become scarce. The people of the world have basically come to small bands fighting over what little food is left.
Eventually Garth is approached by a former rival from when the world was still normal. He is brought to a millionaire who collected fine art before the war. He also has a stash of food and medicine that Garth's group could really use including Garth's father. Garth is persuaded to break into the VIncent estate to steal some of the art in exchange for supplies for his group. The only hitch is that a high tech security system is in place and has wiped groups out in the past. Garth was mainly chosen for his ability to think outside the box.
Eventually he and a band of four other highly armed mercenaries make their way to the Mansion. When they get there they meet resistance right away from a robotic guard that can use invisiblity. They make it past the first obstacle and get into the Mansion. Once inside a hologram, Diana, appears to them and speaks to them plainly as if she were a real person. She claims to be in charge of the security system, but is unable to deactivate it do to protocols placed within the system. It's discovered later that she was created from a real person close to Mr. VIncente. She would prefer the thievs to leave instead of continuing on where they are likely to be killed. In fact that is her intial purpose in appearing to them, to try to disuade them from robbing the Mansion. She also seems to be unaware of the fact that the earth has been ravaged by a war.
The group pays her little notice except Garth. In fact Garth speaks to her several times as they make their way through the Mansion traps. He tries to gain info from her, but he and Diana also seem to connect on an emotional level and appear to become attracted to each other.
The suviving members of the group eventually come to a security measure known as the Rook. Some back stabbing and plot tiwists occur until we reach the end of the film. I won't spoil it for you.
Well Encrypt does have a few cliches in it. It also strikes some strong similarites to the first Resident Evil film. When the commando team was investigating the house and got killed off along the way. There are several traps including wall knives, mobile hologram sentrys, and toxic gas to name a few. I also saw a few signs of the second Alien movie and the Predator films. What keeps Encrypt above water though would likely be the acting, which is fairly good for a made for TV Sci Fi movie. Also the idea of Vivina Wu (Diana)playing the empathetic hologram. She acutally makes the film more interesting as she interacts with the group, whether it be a warning, a piece of information, or the connection she seems to make with Garth played by Grant Shaw. The two have chemisty which helps to put them on a personal level for the viewer. What the film lacks in special effects is made up in by the emotional encounters with Diana.
In the end I gave Encrypt four stars. The story holds together well, the acting was good for the most part, and the addition of the conflicted sympathetic hologram made the story more interesting. If you like sci fi that is driven more by story and the human element you may like Encrypt. If you prefer over the top special effects like the Matrix films this might dissapoint you. My guess is there is something for most viewers to enjoy. It's likely worth your time if you have an interest in it.