March 7, 2006
Directed by: Albert Pyun
Written by: Kitty Chalmers
Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Low
Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Low
Key Cast Members:
Overview: OK, so you have Jean-Claude Van Damme – a guy that can’t show any emotions other than staring intensely or screaming anger – but at least he’s an awesome fighter. So all you have to do is provide a simple, semi-coherent story that allows the guy to show his two emotions and then spend the rest of the movie kicking ass. Simple, right? Unfortunately, Pyun’s Cyborg fails miserably in the story department. From beginning to end, the rationale for key events are completely non-sensical, which leaves us a steaming pile of crap with pretty good fight scenes.
The Story: In a bizarre dystopic future that has ultimate anarchy next to people apparently trying to build little houses on the prairie, a modern version of the plague has devastated an already crippled society. But a cure has been found. And for some reason, these people in one location need to get the cure from another location before it can be used. So…the answer to make this happen is to take one of their hot chick key engineers named Pearl Prophet(played by Dayle Hadden) and TURN HER INTO A CYBORG!!! Why the fuck do they turn her into a cyborg in order to play courier, you ask? Does this make her impervious to attacks? No…in fact, she’s completely worthless as far as combat is concerned. In fact, absolutely NO reason is given for this transformation. We are left to assume that somehow, hard drives only work in the future if they are embedded in people’s bodies (there is a focus on her cybernetic eyes, so perhaps they want us to believe that optical cameras only work in the future if embedded in cyborg eyes). Nor do we find out why the cure will be lost if this cyborg chick dies (gee – if this is a Johnny Mnemonic type thing, can’t they just upload it in chick #2?). In any event, her guardian is killed by the “flesh pirates” and now she needs another body guard. It just turns out that Jean-Claude Van Damme, hero extraordinaire’s one happy family moment was crushed by the flesh pirates, so he’s more than happy to go to the rescue. And for some reason, he’s taken a straggler, Deborah Richter, for the ride.
The rest of the movie is a tracking/confrontation movie where Van Damme tracks down Vincent Klyn, leader of the flesh pirates and engages them in fight after fight. Not surprisingly, Van Damme initially gets his ass beat a few times before we get to the predictable ending. In keeping with the whole incoherence theme, in one scene Van Damme is crucified on a ship’s mast (with nails through the hands – the whole bit), but is fully healed by the next evening’s final showdown. Even worse, we find out from Pearl Prophet, the cyborg chick, that her homies back at the fort can kill the pirates anyways, so we are left wondering why Van Damme even bothers.
The Bottom Line: The whole goal of the movie was to get Van Damme going at it with buff surfer Vincent Klyn. Why they even bothered to add a cyborg to this is beyond me, as it simply doesn’t fit with the story. Who knows, maybe this was the only thing they had available in their limited FX bag. Well, cool, why not spend the 20 minutes it takes to actually write a rationale for the cyborg’s inclusion? In short, this film was never going to be great, but with a little amount of coherence, it could have been decent. I do give one star extra for the fight scenes, which gives Cyborg 4 stars.