Monday, May 30, 2016

Cyborg, Interrupted

Loyal readers may remember my utter glee at discovering a terribly entertaining straight-to-netherworld action flick called Gangland. It was an over the top thing of immense glory.

Little did I ever realize Gangland was essentially an unofficial remake/sequel to Canon's 1989's Cyborg, with Costas Mandylor and one of the guys from Step By Step step by stepping in for Jean Claude Van Damme while Vincent Klyn revived his long-haired, leather coat, no shirt, villain under a new name.

Such a discovery does not dilute my love of Gangland. I liked Cyborg well enough, so naturally, I headed to the vaults of Netflix's "Long Waits" for its very different sequel.

Quick Plot: It's 2074, and the world really digs cyborgs. Leading the industry is Pinwheel Robotics, an evil corporation way less fun than its name suggests. Pinwheel has a plan to eliminate their only rivals, the Coca-Cola to their Pepsi, Kobyashi Electronics. The plan involves sending a highly trained (in sex and combat) cyborg named Cash to Kobyashi, where she will detonate and explode all over the board of directors.

Lucky for her, Cash (young, pre-Hackers Angelina Jolie) has a fairy godfather of the television sort in Mercy, voiced with the luscious scene chewing lips of the one and only Jack Palance. Mercy can hop into different electronic devices to communicate and gives Cash and her human trainer-turned-lover-turned-best-named-character-ever Colton Ricks plenty of help in escaping. It's no Gibson Rickenbacker , but you have to give the Cyborg series credit for having fun with its characters' names.

Side note: Colton is played by a pre-Casey Jones, still Not Chris Meloni Elias Koteas.

Pinwheel's CEO dispatches an insane bounty hunter to retrieve Cash. Enter Billy "I've Never Been In a Good Movie But I've Sure Do Work A Lot" Drago in all his slithery glory, soon to be followed by a rival female cyborg bounty hunter. I haven't even reached the Koteas vs. Drago Mortal Kombat match that determines who gets to sail away to Africa!

As you can probably guess, Cyborg 2 isn't The Godfather: Part 2, but it sure is fun. Director Michel Schroeder keeps things moving, slowing down only for your token overly emotional soft focus love scene. The action is passable and has some fun twists. The cast ranges from fine (Jolie and Koteas) to hammily enjoyable (Drago) to glorious (Oscar winner Palance). You might think you know what it means to watch movies, but let's face it: you've never really lived as an audience member until you've heard Jack Palance aggressively whisper the word, "Cyyyyyyyyborg!"

High Point to follow:

High Points
Just one year after his triumphant, one-arm-push-up celebratory City Slickers Oscar acceptance, Jack Palance plays a cyborg. That in itself is special, but the relish with which he speaks every line is precious

Low Points
It’s hard to fault a film for being too earnest, but maybe after the glory of Gangland, I just wanted a little more goof and less romance to end all time

Lessons Learned
There are worse things than cyborg envy, among them, human envy and penis envy (and most likely, cyborg penis envy)

Infections can cause complications

In addition to sex and fighting, cyborgs are also very talented at knitting scarves

Because Any Excuse To Discuss the Ann-Margret Period Sheet Episode of Law & Order: SVU Will Not Be Missed

Our coda (SPOILER ALERT) gives us a bittersweet sendoff that shows how Colt and Cash have spent decades together alone in a random square of fertile land. 

As predicted, Cash remains in her 20something hot form while Colt has aged in human years...or, more fittingly, burn victim years akin to the Mattress King in Episodee 11.18, Bedtime


Cyborg 2 won't change your worldview or cement its place in your top 10 list anytime soon, but it's a fun little ride. The film reeks of that prized early '90s action/sci-fi style so if that's your jam, this is probably your peanut butter. It's not nearly as bonkers as Canon's first Cyborg entry, but it's still enjoyable for exactly what it is. It certainly makes me eager to find Schroeder's Cyborg 3, and not just because the cast includes Malcolm McDowell, Richard Lynch, William Katt, and, um, Kato Kaelin. Review coming eventually!

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