Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cyborg (The Series) Re-evaluated (Cyborg 1)

Cyborg (1989) * * *

Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Deborah Richter, Dayle Haddon, Vincent Klyn

Directed by Albert Pyun

Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as kickboxing savior Gibson Richenbacher, a mercenary of the future forced to battle a savage gang of mutants who kill people for unexplained reasons. Also is a robot named Pearl Prophet (Haddon) who has the cure for the plague in her bionic brain, and ergo needs to be delivered from evil by Gibson. Cyborg is a fairly bad kung fu rip off of Escape From New York, the acting is atrocious, the movie jumps from flashback to the present without explanation and worst of all, the movie is often incoherent. Cyborg does deliver the action for fans of the genre, and of course Cyborg is slightly better than most post apocalypse movies of its day, sad story, true as it is. That said the real appeal of Cyborg is in its camp appeal, as the silliness of the bad guys as well as the extremely bad acting make this one easy to laugh at. Indeed Cyborg hits its unintentional hilarity apex when Jean-Claude Van Damme is crucified and forced to kick down the cross. A scene so hilarious it makes the film a must for fans of hilariously awful cinema. Indeed I recommend as it is indeed better made than most films in its collective genre,  the fight sequences are done right and the movie is never ever boring,  however I recommend it with reservations because this is as campy as movies get.  Indeed the finale in the end in particular will have Bad Movie fans in tears of laughter.  While Cyborg can be considered somewhat of a failure,  the truth is I really can't explain such badness when I watch such a movie so much.  I mean the way Van Damme looks in his wig is worth the price of admission alone.

Cyborg 2 (1993) *

Cast: Jack Palance, Elias Koteas, Angelina Jolie, Billy Drago, Alan Garfield

Directed by Michael Schroeder

Apparently Jean-Claude Van Damme’s kickboxing did in fact save the world, as the future is much less devastated here, as big business corporations rule, as technology has in fact flourished since the plague. Anyway the movie has little to do with its predecessor but does have relatively the same plot, only lamer this time around. The story such as it is, revolves around a robot (Future superstar Angelina Jolie)who falls in love with a human karate instructor (character actor Elias Koteas) who then go on the lam, when it is discovered that Jolie has been programmed with a liquid explosive meant to take out a rival corporation. Billy Drago figures as the bounty hunter sent to retrieve our lovebirds, while Jack Palance plays a robot out to save our heroes. Palance, Jolie and Koteas are lost in a film that needs more kickboxing and less uninspired science fiction elements. Cyborg 2 borrows liberally from far better movies like Blade Runner, Max Headroom and The Terminator to name a few, but what really stops the movie dead in its tracks, is the drippy love plot angle, as well as the lack of plot to hold any of the story together. Palance rates as the best element in the film but the film is too repetitive and lame to work as even camp. Indeed at least the first movie tried hard…

1 comment:

  1. I see you didn't even bother to review part 3, which had one of my faves, Evan Lurie. I do agree with you on all these.