Bullet Points: Cyber Tracker
I am not sure there is an action fan on the planet that would name a Don “The Dragon” Wilson film as their all-time favorite action movie hero. But I am not sure the action world has ever seen a more consistent performer than Wilson either.
The man has starred in dozen of movies starting with 1989’s Bloodfist. And while I have yet to find the Don “The Dragon” Wilson movie that completely blew my mind, I haven’t found many that were complete wastes of time either (full disclosure, Terminal Rush came close).
When you go into a Don “The Dragon” Wilson movie, you know exactly you are going to get. Wilson’s movies stick to proven formulas and always deliver in the fight scenes, which should be expected when the guy doing the fighting is considered the greatest kickboxer in the history of the sport.
My latest Don “The Dragon” Wilson movie experience, was 1994’s Cyber Tracker…
- The Premise: Eric (Don “The Dragon” Wilson) is working security for Senator Dilly (John Aprea). Dilly is at the center of controversy as he is the #1 proponent for the new “computerized justice system” that has been implemented in the United States. After Eric saves Dilly’s life from an assassination attempt by a radical group known as the Union for Human Rights, Eric is invited into Dilly’s inner circle. But when Eric objects to some of the Senator’s less than ethical practices, he becomes the hunted with the authorities (including a new wave of cyborg cops they are testing known as Trackers) after him for a murder he did not commit.
- Strange Bedfellows: On the outs with his employer, Eric is rescued/recruited by the very people he was protecting the Senator from a day earlier, the UHR. The leader of the radical group, Griff, actually leads a double life. To most of the world she is reporter Stephane Grifin, but in secret she is looking to use her connection to the broadcasting world to get the truth out about CyberCore, the company that the government has contracted to run the justice system. This aspect of the movie gave it a real Running Man kind of vibe, with an underground group wanting to pull back the curtain on something the general public was blind to. But The Running Man wasn’t the only Arnold movie that Cyber Tracker drew inspiration from…
- Termination Inspiration: Cyber Tracker, like many action movies in the 90’s, was heavily influenced by The Terminator franchise, which is probably to be expected when T2 pulled in over $200 million at the box office. Jim Maniaci played all of The Trackers in the movie, a role an actor with limited experience, like Jim is perfect for, as he had to convey zero emotion and just be a stone cold killing machine. While it was fun to see “The Dragon” match up with some cyborg foes, the real money match up would come in the form of a human foe…
- Professional Jealousy: It is established in the first few minutes of Cyber Tracker that Wilson’s Eric and Richard Norton’s character Ross were on a collision course. Ross had been head of Senator Dilly’s security detail for years and there is some definite professional jealousy between he and Eric, especially when Eric shows him up and make him look bad in front of the Senator. You almost get the feeling that Ross is happy when Eric goes off the reservation as he was just looking for an excuse to kick Eric’s ass. Fans of the action genre know the Australian born Norton can fight as he proved in movies like Gymkata, China O’Brien and Mr. Nice Guy. Fans of the action genre also know the legit fighting credentials and action movie credentials that Don “The Dragon” Wilson brings to the table. The impending fight between two seasoned martial artists like Wilson and Norton kept me actively engaged through out the film.
Of the Don “The Dragon” Wilson movies I’ve reviewed for the site, I’d rank Cyber Tracker behind Ring of Fire and Virtual Combat and slightly ahead of Bloodfist II. And speaking of the number two (no I’m not about to inject some potty humor into this review) Cyber Tracker did have a sequel and I’m looking forward to watching and reviewing Cyber Tracker 2 down the road.
Fortunately for you, you won’t have to wait for my Cyber Tracker 2 review for more Cyber Tracker related bullet points…
- Quasi Futuristic Building: I couldn’t help but experience a moment of deja vu when I saw the building used as CyberCore headquarters. The Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant has been used in many movies and TV shows, most notably as the Starfleet Academy as part of the Star Trek films.
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Don “The Dragon” Wilson get his “connected home” computer drunk, then this is the movie for you.
- Better Off Alone: Eric relives a painful memory from his past when his wife Katie leaves him. Katie did not approve of the dangerous line of work Eric was in and stated she couldn’t live not knowing if Eric would walk through the door dead or alive. Obviously if he is walking through the door he’s going to be alive. If I were Eric, I would have struck first and left Katie for that ignorant comment.
- Poor Judgment: Eric showed terrible judgment for a hero when during his first encounter with one of the Trackers he commandeers a fire truck that was on its way to an emergency call. So a family could have perished, a whole city block could have burned to the ground, all for the sake of a battle with a cyborg cop?!?!
- Listen Up Losers: If you are not the most attractive guy on the planet, or if you just aren’t that smooth around the ladies, you can learn something from the CEO of CyberCore, Mr. Rounds (Joseph Ruskin). All you need to do is get rich and powerful and you can have all the ladies you want, no matter how you may look.