In terms of the slew of low-budget, direct-to-video or basic cable science-fiction rip-offs (a.k.a., homages), the script for Antibody isn’t too mind-numbingly dumb. The special effects aren’t that shoddy. And its star Lance Henriksen isn’t showing an abundance of disdain for the material by making a face in every scene that says,”I’m only here for the paycheck.”

It is still a terrible movie, and by no means should one take those statements to mean anything remotely positive about Antibody. The script is still pretty stupid, the special effects look good for a computer game in the mid-1990s, and Henriksen plays the entire movie — as his character puts it with a wink and a nudge — like he’s “front row at a Dead concert.”

In spite of the fact that the entire continent of Europe is threatened with nuclear annihilation, everyone involved in the attempt to save the Western world from the resulting “debt,” as the villainous Moran (Julian Vergov) says in his heavy accent (prepare yourself for a lot of near-indecipherable dialects), is pretty laid back. Richard Gaynes (Henriksen), a former FBI agent running a private security firm in Munich (“Munesh,” according to Moran), spends a lot of time staring out the window of their vehicle. We, of course, rarely see what he and the rest of the crew are looking at and are instead treated to the monochromatic, polygonal interior of the ship.

When he’s not staring at the environment that causes an “uh-huh” and “whoa” every so often, Gaynes is kind-of, sort-of flirting with Dr. Rachel Saverini (Robin Givens), the perpetually grimacing pilot of the ship. Meanwhile, a couple of dunderheads (Gaston Pauls and Teodora Ivanova) harass and insult each other but only because they’re crazy in love. No one seems to actually care that they and possibly hundreds of millions of people may die.

The ship they are on, by the by, is a submarine shrunk to the size of a micrometer (the first time this has been done with humans, they all say with a big, goofy smile), which has been injected into the terrorist’s blood stream so the crew can hunt down the tiny detonator he’s put in his body. If any “arm” comes to him, it will “result in immediate detonation.” So the doctor on the outside (Velizar Binec) has to restart Moran’s heart while they’re traveling through it, or it will “result in immediate detonation.” Giving him the shock paddles while he’s entering cardiac arrest will “result in immediate detonation.” Moran says a lot of things will “result in immediate detonation,” which he tells to a television audience via a “live feet.”

There are computer images of a blood stream in flow in the style of an educational video, and there are far sillier views of white blood cells and skin mites attacking the ship or its escape pods. The dialogue by screenwriter Michael Baldwin is heavy on the exposition (a news reporter exists only for backstory), the unlikely (Dr. Rachel has a plan to distract the white blood cells by inserting a disease from someone in the lab into Moran, preferably — in this order — HIV, tuberculosis, or leukemia; perhaps she should start her list with something more common to get a hit), and the redundant (as Gaynes stares at a board of numbers during the climax, the cast shouts out how many seconds are left on the clock before it will “result in immediate detonation”).

See, Antibody is only really awful.

Mark Dujsik is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society. For more of his reviews, visit his website.

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