Denzel Washington Sci-Fi Thriller On Streaming Goes Crazy In The Best Ways

By April Ryder | Published

denzel washington virtuosity
  • Denzel Washington’s Virtuosity is now streaming
  • Virtuosity is a 1995 sci-fi action film
  • Russell Crowe also stars in the film as the villain

If you haven’t seen Denzel Washington’s 1995 sci-fi action film, Virtuosity, you’re missing out on a pearl of a movie. Virtuosity has everything you want from a 90s sci-fi flick; there’s virtual reality gaming, a supervillain, murder, revenge, and the cop who saves the world from certain destruction. 

Denzel Washington’s Virtuosity

The realm created in Virtuosity is in league with films like Lawnmower Man and Demolition Man mixed with a little Matrix vibe (even though The Matrix didn’t come out until the late 90s, 1999 to be exact). Though the movie didn’t do well at the box office, grossing around $37 million worldwide on a $30 million budget, Virtuosity has aged like a fine wine. 

Virtuosity begins amid the action. Los Angeles, 1999, and Parker Barnes (Denzel Washington) is walking briskly, sifting through a sea of gray business suits on a mission. He arrives at a Japanese restaurant to find that a “bad guy” has taken hostages, and a shootout occurs. 

In A Virual Reality Simulation

When things don’t go quite as they should, it is revealed that Barnes is in a VR simulation; a computer game. There were clues to the fallible nature of reality during the first few scenes of the movie, such as a fluttering sky and some notable glitches (in the “matrix”). 

In the real world, Virtuosity reveals that Parker Barnes is a former cop who is now in prison for killing a political terrorist after the terrorist killed Barnes’ wife and daughter. During the shootout, Barnes accidentally killed two reporters and was sent to prison for their slayings. 

Trying To Train The Police


He now has a mechanical arm and works in a program developing a VR game aimed to serve as training for police.

Barnes is perfect for the VR program because he is the “rogue police officer” who is well-suited to handle such a superior threat as the villain in the game. 

Enemy Is A Combination Of Most Dangerous Killers


The VR villain is not just any old bad guy, either. They call him SID 6.7 (Sadistic, Intelligent, and Dangerous), and he is an amalgam of some of the world’s most dangerous serial killers.

Virtuosity’s villain is a makeup of the personalities of 200 different (and terrible) criminals. Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy, and even the guy who killed Barnes’ family is a part of the soup. 

Russell Crowe In Virtuosity


SID 6.7 is played by a very young Russell Crowe in Virtuosity, and Crowe does an excellent job of projecting “unhinged” in the personality of the villain he portrays. He’s like a digital form of The Joker, and he even wears a purple suit at one point in the movie. He’s diabolical and somewhat witty. 

Stream Virtuosity Now


When SID 6.7 finds a way to weasel out of VR and into the real world, Barnes and the rest of the police force must work together to wrangle him and return him to the digital world from which he came before he finds a way to organize his own holocaust. 

If you want to know the rest of the story, you’ll have to catch Virtuosity on streaming. You can find it streaming on Fubo and Showtime with the proper subscription, or you can rent the movie on Apple TV+ or YouTube