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12.1.09

Lethal Dose (2003)



aka LD-50: Lethal Dose

Director: Simon De Selva
Starring: Katherine Towne, Melanie Brown, Tom Hardy, Ross McCall
Rated R Running time: 97 minutes
Released by First Look Pictures


You are a member of LD-50, a top secret animal rights group that isn't afraid to get its hands dirty. Your group engages in meticulously planned raids on animal testing facilities, liberating furry creatures from the clutches of heartless scientists. You operate under the cover of darkness. You communicate with secret codes to protect your identity. One of your members got caught on a previous mission, and you've discovered that he is being used as a lab rat in order to get his sentence reduced. You reunite the group in order to free your martyred friend. You break into the laboratory, a cavernous facility that no one in your group is familiar with. There is great danger of being caught, so your next move must be carefully planned. Recognizing the perils you face, and being the crack team of outlaw animal-rights activists that you are, there is one thing that you must do to accomplish your mission:

Sit around with the team and get high.

That's right, gentle reader. This group, in the midst of the very illegal, very dangerous mission, opts to smoke a fatty before they go wandering around the maze-like facility. It was at this point that I realized that the makers of Lethal Dose don't really intend for you to take their film all that seriously. And even though they spent the first act of the film on characterization, you shouldn't, either. The film degenerates into standard Sci-Fi Channel fare, but with a little gore tossed here and there to keep things interesting. The characters spend much of the film wandering around in the dark while being pursued by a Lawnmower Man-inspired killer. It seems that the experiment that the captured activist is the guinea pig for is a project which attempts to seperate the human soul from the body. Yikes. It's a good thing one of the members is a yoga buff. Tibetan Yoga of Death, no less. What does yoga have to do with anything, you ask? Well, it features prominently in the film's grand finale - in a scene that brings to mind the word "silly".

There is a Spice Girl in this film, if that sort of thing floats your boat. The main point of interest is the appearance of a young Tom Hardy, in a role he probably wants to forget.


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