1000’s of Baldwins
Xchange (2001) 7 out of 10: Any movie that starts out with the premise that society has purposely cloned hundreds of Stephen Baldwins embarks with one foot in the grave. Add in the tired old plot of people’s consciousness traveling to different host bodies and “the Corporation” losing some poor schlubs corpse and you are headed to Overdrawn at the Memory Bank land. (For those who are not Canadians, PBS watchers or MST3K fans, Overdrawn is one of the worst pieces of science fiction ever created and defiantly not Raul Julia’s finest hour.)
Yet the movie pulls itself out of this one-two punch with a smarter than it had to be
First the script. Now, most science fiction films when talking a significant new technology like consciousness transfer will create some crazy take over the world, the world will end, destroy civilization as we know it scheme. Xchange takes a different much more realistic and creative track. People hop into other bodies to avoid exercise, avoid long lines at the airport and experiment sexually. In other words what people in real life use mind-blowing technology for. (The internet is a mind-blowing piece of technology, and people use it not to gain control of the universe or gather vast amounts of knowledge they use it to post useless opinions on movies, download porn and shop for collector plates on eBay.) Now the third act does fall apart with talking killers and vats of acid not to mention car chases that wouldn’t be out of place in an A-team episode, but by this point, the movies charm has sunk in.
As for the sex scenes unlike many films with plastic woman and men who attempt to copulate with the woman’s navel while still wearing their underwear, Xchange features sweaty, athletic and realistic sex. This along with some decent violence and good non-Baldwin acting helps elevate Xchange into a top tier of B-movies.