Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In short: Cyborg 2: The Glass Shadow (1993)

In the future, two companies, one Japanese and one American, producing intelligent, feeling androids they call cyborgs for no good reason vie for world domination. Pinwheel, the American corp, decides to dominate their Japanese counterpart once and for all by blowing up the competition's executive level with a special cyborg explosive they have prepared their cyborg Casella "Cash" Reese (Angelina Jolie) with.

A quite independent cyborg (who actually is a cyborg and not an android like Cash) named Mercy (Jack Palance) who likes to communicate with the world via a negative image of his luscious lips on TVs lying around - and in this future, TVs are lying disused in the dust everywhere - has other plans for her, and pushes Cash and her martial arts instructor and owner of a big crush on his charge Colson "Colt" Ricks (Elias Koteas) into a daring escape attempt.

The bad guys send a crazy bounty killer (Billy Drago) and an equally crazy cyborg bounty killer (Karen Sheperd) after what will soon enough become the lovers, but as you know, love, kicks in the face and Cyborg-Palance conquer all.

Michael Schroeder's Cyborg 2 is a film that usually gets a bad rep as a horrible, horrible movie. I, however, somewhat emphatically disagree with that position, possibly because I just watched the film this isn't really a sequel of (even though there are a few seconds of random scenes from it inserted into this), and therefore know the difference between a boring low budget movie and one that is trying enthusiastically. Cyborg 2 is the kind of film Roger Corman could have produced in the late 70s if the late 70s had had a thing for somewhat cyberpunk-y futures. It's cheap, it's not as dumb as it pretends to be, and from time to time, it's even rather funny.

And really, what's not to like about a movie that contains: Jack Palance's lips chewing the scenery, and then Billy Drago and Karen Sheperd taking care of whatever he left of it, a young, pretty insecure and very cute Angelina Jolie (who does get naked, as does Koteas so there's nudity for everyone), copious amounts of blue, amber and red lighting, an arena fight below two ventilators, Jack Palance making things explode, cheap production and costume design that is either meant to suggest curious cultural crossovers in the future or a random grab into a wardrobe, and a story - such as it is - where love and an exploding Jack Palance cure all ills? Even better, all this stuff is told without too much boring filler and with a totally annoying synth soundtrack. If that doesn't make Cyborg 2 a winner in anyone's book, I don't want to read it.

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