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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 39 - Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace / Jobe's War (1996)

Both titles for Lawnmower Man 2
(1996; August Entertainment)
The first Lawnmower Man was hardly a masterpiece, but wasn’t absolutely terrible.  The Stephen King novella adaptation followed a scientist's experiment involving the use of virtual reality on a slow man named Jobe (Jeff Fahey) to improve his intelligence, it backfires however when the man’s mind merges with the reality in the computer and he becomes a danger to himself and everyone around him.  Lawnmower Man 2 has nothing to do with any of that crap, it’s a whole bunch of nothing.

The plot in this sequel revolves around Jobe (this time played by 90’s perennial C-grade actor Matt Frewer) being revived to build a powerful computer chip that can interconnect every computer in the world into one super-network (isn’t that technically what the Internet does in a sense?).  The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic-type future (of course it does) where Peter (Last Action Hero’s Austin O’Brien) is now a street kid who is a hacker by skill.  He and his friends are then lured in by Jobe along with a scientist named Benjamin Trace (Patrick Bergin) to aid in the construction of the powerful chip.  Ultimately, Jobe betrays them and they must team up to stop him from taking over the world!

Man is this movie dumb!  This is low-budget all the way, but it’s worse than that.  While the first film explored touches of science fiction, it at least tried to appeared to take place in some form of reality.  This film looks like it was filmed on the set of Super Mario Bros. and has some of the worst dialogue of any action flick of the 90’s.  The kids look like they climbed out of a dumpster and the computers look like broken hardware picked up at a flea market.  Everything in this movie is ugly, dirty and obscured by grey smoke.  The movie is also a bore, lacking even a touch of camp that may save it from being straight up trash.  This one is a disaster.

As far as the alternate titles are concerned, I tried to find more information on this but there didn't' seem to be much. However, it is not uncommon for bad movies to have alternate titles. Some have many more than two. I even found one alternate title for this movie listed as Lawnmower Man 2: Mindfire (source: I have not heard this one before, but it is certainly worse than the other two. I mean, Mindfire sounds like a Rush song.

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