The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996)
Directed by: Fahrad Mann
Starring: Patrick Bergin, Matt Frewer, Austin O'Brien, Kevin Conway
You all remember my article on the 1992 film The Lawnmower Man
, right? While the computer graphics were really cool, I complained that the film fell into a generic horror film syndrome near the end and it barely had anything to do with the Stephen King short story of the same name.
Nevertheless, it was at least worth a buy, but the only copy I could find where I live was a Double-Feature DVD: There was The Lawnmower Man
and it's sequel.It's J-J-J-Jobe Headroom!The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace
makes the first one look like Alien
. It's boring, overlong, and manages to be both complicated and simple at the same time. It's a regular sci-fi plot laced with technobabble that makes Star Trek
's technobabble sound like Sesame Street
At first, a sequel to The Lawnmower Man
sounds interesting. After all, it did have an interesting cliffhanger showing Jobe, now physical energy, escaping from his virtual reality world before it blows into bits. This was the quick recap that we get before the second film starts. That's where we also have the mission to abandon all logic from the first film as it rarely acknowledges anything from the first film.Our young hero Peter enters the set of Kangaroo Jack.WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In "the future," Jobe (Frewer) has been "rescued" by an evil industrialist (Conway, who oddly looks like Tim Curry from Congo
) who wants Jobe to create a virtual reality where everyone in the world can live in. Only able to move freely in cyberspace, Jobe finds his old friend Peter in cyberspace and asks him to find a Dr. Benjamin Trace, the inventor of a certain Chiron chip. With it, Jobe can finish his work and be free to take over the world again.WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?
Matt Frewer (of Max Headroom
fame) does an OK job as Jobe, as he tries to put some personality into the character. Unfortunately, he puts too much of his Max Headroom
shtick into the character, turning him from bland to just plain crazy.
The special effects look cool from time to time, but that's about it.This is the result when you cross Dennis Hopper with George Of The Jungle.WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?
I like the idea of casting the original actors from the first movie into a sequel, but in this case, it makes no sense. The only returning original cast member from the first film is O'Brien as Peter, Jobe's friend. In the first film, he looked like he was about 12 years old. In this one, where things take place IN THE FUTURE, you'd guess that Peter is like an old man or an adult. Instead, he looks like he's 15 or 16 years old! I wouldn't mind if they got an older actor to play an older Peter, and it is nice to get someone from the first film in the sequel, but why did have to be the one that's clearly NOT OLD ENOUGH FOR THE DAMN ROLE!
The futuristic world in this movie is just bland and uninventive. It's obviously another failed attempt to remind us that if we don't care for the environment, we'll all end up living in a Blade Runner
ripoff. What's worse is that there's a quick scene that I couldn't find a picture of where you see Princess Vespa's futuristic Mercedes from Spaceballs
in the background! That's pretty sad when you rip off of Mel Brooks's films.Now THIS would be a great hiding spot for Waldo!
Finally, the plot is just stupid. It sounds simple enough, but it's explained in impossible-to-understand dialogue that would make Spock turn blue. I guess that the dialogue is made to avoid silliness, but even with the sophisticated dialogue, it's still pretty silly."You know, I've should've starred in an ER episode. If I'm want to be forgotten actress, I should at least be forgotten in something GOOD."BOTTOM LINE:
I'd hate to say this, but The Lawnmower Man
is actually better than this film. The only good things about this one are only adequate, and the rest is just impossible to sit through.
However, I will give it a sporting chance and say that is not a godawful one. I'm sure that if this film is compared to atrcocities like Battlefield Earth
or Leonard: Part 6
, The Lawnmower Man 2
will look like a genuine classic. You could do a lot worse, but then, you could do a lot better, too.OVERALL SCORE: