Cyborg tries for deeper things
I’ve heard people say that Cyborg is something more than just a stupid, post-apocalyptic movie with bad characters. I heard that, but then I said: hey self, wouldn’t that be an interesting way to torment myself on a Friday? Jean Claude Van Damme and tons of chicks with 80s hair trying to entertain me. I’m not sure what they were going for here, because this movie is all over the place with its themes and design. It was made by Cannon studios, the guys who made Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and the Missing in Action series. They are strictly low-budget, but some of their movies do have passion and flavor, I’ll give them that much, at least.
The film opens with a guy running from some thugs, and he stops to fight them with a pocket knife so his girlfriend can get away. Some guy with an 80s perm attacks him with an even bigger knife. Cue Paul Hogan: “You call that a knife?”
Another thug leaps THROUGH a plate-glass storefront window and kicks the hero in the jimmy. Yet ANOTHER guy hits him with a metal pipe. Can you say overdone?
After Jean Claude Van Damme rescues a Cyborg princess from the thugs, he gets buried in a pile of dirt. He punches his way out though, so he’s okay. He decides to trail after the princess, who is headed to Atlanta to help create a cure for the b-movie plague. I guess I’m the one who needs to talk to this lady.
While this is a crap movie, I do think the future would probably look like a bad B-movie like this one. It would probably be filled with endless crap from somebody’s garage, and junk would be commonplace. I dare you to find a shot in Cyborg where there isn’t a shot of garage, junk, or something ruined. Van Damme climbs over junk. He walks around broken junk. He takes a shortcut through a junky road. There’s no way the future looks like a colorful noir painting as in Blade Runner.
The fights are decent, but are edited in such a way to dull the violence and there’s no pacing whatsoever. The fights and the violence are the only things going for this movie, but both of these things are neutered because of the editing.
About half-way through, I was surprised when Van Damme finds the Big Bad Villain. Say what? There was about an hour to go, so I wondered what the heck was going on. Spin-kicking, that’s what. Van Damme loves to spin kick. He spin-kicks the villain’s thugs. He spin-kicks a knife into some guy’s back. That’s painful. Well, the battle doesn’t end with spin-kicks, because Van Damme simply runs away instead. That’s right, Van Damme high-tails it out of there like a true hero, but the thugs track him down and tie him up like Jesus, to give us some deep metaphorical stuff, I guess.
Overall, this movie tries, but it is a mess. The “deeper themes” turned out to be some Jesus imagery used for no reason that I could understand, so that’s a disappointment. The themes I thought would be there aren’t explored in any real way, but there is a sense of family and a personal connection Van Damme has with his ladies, so to speak. The ending is two guys yelling at each other until one falls down. Van Damme hugs the Cyborg princess and that’s it. That’s the end. Van Damme does a spin-kick, walks around some junk, and goes home. Maybe someday I’ll seek out the director’s cut of this movie to see if it improves on what the movie does best, but as it stands, I can barely get through it.