What Not To Watch: American Cyborg: Steel Warrior
I blame two of my least favorite Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, Cyborg and Maximum Risk, for tainting my opinion of any movie that involves cyborgs or the Russian mob. If there was ever a movie about a cyborg and the Russian mob, I’m not sure I could watch it.
That prejudice gave American Cyborg: Steel Warrior a disadvantage with me from the start. But, what if AC:SW could overcome the odds and change my perception of cyborg related movies forever? Well coulda, woulda, shoulda….
- Backstory: We are 17 years removed from a nuclear war that jacked up the planet considerably. Artificial intelligence is now in control and it is gracious enough to let mankind play out their existence. Since the massive amounts of radiation has made everyone sterile, there will not be future generations of humans to deal with. Well, almost everyone is sterile…
- MmmBop: Nicole Hansen plays Mary, the only fertile woman left on Earth. Scientists take Mary’s “ova” and fertilize it (I don’t believe they explain where the sperm came from, perhaps a sperm bank survived the wrath of World War III). Now Mary has to take the fetus (that is safely housed in a life containment cylinder) to Europe. In order to do this, she has to get through the post apocalyptic city and to the port, where a boat from Europe will meet her. Now the fetus can only survive for 36 hours in the cylinder, so time is of the essence and it isn’t exactly a walk through the park. She has to deal with all the post apocalyptic types you’d expect, plus some you might not expect like the gang of dudes in women’s underwear, and worst of all there’s the cyborgs that police the humans and will terminate them if they get out of line. Fortunately for Mary, she finds our movie’s hero, Austin, (played by Joe Lara of Tarzan TV fame) and he aids her on her mission.
- Rinse and Repeat: While the 36 hour time limit, should give the movie a sense of urgency and keep you on the edge of your seat, it seems to have the opposite effect. It actually feels like the movie is 36 hours long and that is the top reason this movie made my What Not To Watch list. I can’t recall a movie that is so repetitive (well, maybe Groundhog Day). Cyborg finds Mary, Mary narrowly avoids being killed, it appears Cyborg has been stopped. We get some Austin and Mary time, ooops Cyborg isn’t dead, time for more danger and another narrow escape, etc. It was a mind numbing experience watching this. Imagine you’re at a bar and a song that you kinda like comes on. At first it’s like “wow, haven’t heard this one in a while”… then after it plays another 4 times you never want to hear it again. That is what it was like watching AC:SW.
- The Cast: There is an actress at the beginning of the movie, who was one of the soldiers originally set to take Mary to the port, that was bad. How bad was she? Well, to paraphrase the Iron Sheik, she was worse than dead dog sh*t. Fortunately, she’s killed off quickly, because if she was in the movie the entire time, I wouldn’t feel bad for putting this on the What Not To Watch list. The main characters of the film give solid performances. Nicole Hansen does a good job and her looks don’t hurt. Some may say the same about Joe Lara. John Saint Ryan plays a quality cyborg, although how freaking hard is it to play a cyborg? Personally, I preferred John P. Ryan’s cyborg work in Class of 1999 over John Saint Ryan’s work in American Cyborg: Steel Warrior.
If not for the repetition, this movie would have been fine… yes there were other things I could nitpick, like Austin telling Mary to watch out for mines, then not watching where he walks himself. A few minutes later he mentions that the mines are deadly in case Mary thought they were one of the mines that sprayed confetti in the air if you stepped on them. And what was the purpose for the Steel Warrior subtitle??
But there was good stuff like when the Cyborg was impaled, it wasn’t Death Wish 2 level impalement, but it was good. And Austin had a quality reply when he was asked how life was treating him… “Same as everyone, like a turd in a toilet.”
Unfortunately for American Cyborg: Steel Warrior it can now take its place next to the other turds on my What Not To Watch List.