Cyberpunk Review » Lawnmower Man

January 18, 2006

Lawnmower Man

Year: 1992

Directed by: Brett Leonard

Written by: Brett Leonard, Gimel Everett & Stephen King (original short story, but who filed a lawsuit to have his name disassociated from this)

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Key Cast Members:

  • Dr. Lawrence Angelo: Pierce Brosnan
  • Jobe Smith: Jeff Fahey
  • Rating: 5 out of 10

    DVD cover


    Overview: Pierce Brosnan as 007 stars in this scifi espionage flick about a guy with a lawnmower who tries to take over the world…Well, that’s not exactly it, but close :)

    This might be another one of those I’m out to lunch on, but I’m guessing most have seen this flick. Lawnmower Man was originally derived from a Stephen King novel (although considering that King sued to have his name removed, we might infer he wasn’t thrilled with this movie), and is about a genius government funded scientist (Brosnan) who’s doing research on increasing human intelligence through using drug-assisted virtual reality experiments. His research, originally done on chimps, was cut off when a chimp goes wild, so instead of giving up, he does the research in his basement, using the local lawnmower dullard as his test subject.

    Over time, the Lawnmower guy becomes awesomely intelligent, so much so that he grows more powerful than anyone could have possibly imagined. So much so, in fact, that he becomes a potential threat to mankind!

    The Bottom Line: Lawnmower man is an early entree into 3D graphics. The graphics were rather decent at the time but certainly looks dated now. It’s still a nice scifi thriller that fully qualifies as a cyberpunk movie in every way possible. I enjoy this, and generally like Brosnan movies, but maybe its just a guilty pleasure of mine. Whereas I find it watchable in a cheesy sort of way, I can certainly imagine others scoffing at some of the insane plot points (like going from a multi-million dollar a year funded defense project, to getting better results in your basement). But even if you find this one watchable, it’s a pretty clear bet that you won’t stand a chance at liking the sequel.


    ~See movies similar to this one~

    Tags: cyberpunk movie review


    August 7, 2006

    Hugo said:

    The film was a little strange for my taste. Actually, I thought it was terrible, and you’d be better off renting ‘Johny Mneumonic’ (which is a great, great film compared to this :D).

    Stephen King has a short story called ‘The Lawnmower Man’, but it has nothing to do with VR. It’s about a upper-class man who hires someone to cut his lawn, and when he comes out he finds the boy naked and eating the grass like a goat. It’s really disturbing, and it’s suggested that ‘The Lawnmower Man’ is really a serial killer (from memory). Very, very strange…

    January 9, 2007

    darren seeley said:

    I first got “Lawnmower Man” in the extended VHS director’s cut and loved it. Later I got the DVD only to find out most of the best non CG parts of the film was “deleted scenes” on the flip side. Sheesh.

    A sequel was made, with only the kid from the first film returning; Jobe was played by Max Headroom’s Matt Frewer in the sequel.

    darren seeley said:

    oh, one other thing. Lawnmower Man was released theatrically in 1991. It should not be in 80-89 category.

    January 16, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Darren, thanks for the date catch. I don’t know why I had this listed from 1987. And yeah, I know about the sequel. I be putting the review up here soon.

    March 23, 2007

    Billy G said:

    in my opinion this movie deserves 7 stars. i really enjoyed this movie, but i can see how others may have not enjoyed it as much as me. its a crazy movie. it has really cheesy cg effects, like when jobe sets the preacher on fire, but they do the movie justice. this is pierce brosnans best film!

    SFAM said:

    Hi Billy G. Many people like this movie a lot, so I’m not surprised you’d give it 7 stars. I find it enjoyable, but it clearly has issues. Again, the whole “I can can do better research in my basement than I can with a multi-million dollar project” thing just came off a bit to hoaky for me, as did other parts.

    I do owe this movie a FAR better review than I have above though. This review was put up rather early in the site’s existence - at that point I was just trying to get enough to make CPR worthwhile viewing.

    March 29, 2007

    David said:

    I seen this movie on rental when i was 9. For a sci-fi movie, it gives you what you want, and the end is even chiling when the phones start ringing. The sequel was pretty crap though, and it wouldn’t suprise me if there was a third that’s even worse.

    December 5, 2007

    Virtual Obsession (Host) said (pingback):

    […] it wasn’t for the Lawnmower Man-like idea of uploading a consciousness into cyberspace, this would just be another […]

    June 21, 2008

    Autobot_Prime said:

    Since the cover you show on this article is of teh New Line Platnum series, I was wondering if you have only seen the thratrical cut? There was an extended edition released on VHS (good luck finding it now though) and Laserdisk. Basically take all the deleted scenes in the DVD release and reinstate them into the movie. It changes many of the subtle plotpoints. Including how Brosnan was able to acheve more sucess in his basement than in the lab (the psycotropic drugs he used were different). Overall it makes the movie more enjoyable to watch and I would give the extended version 7 out of 10 stars. The theatrical DVD version though, would only get 4 out of 10 from me.

    On a side note. The filmmakers originally had nothing to do with Steven King or the Lawnmower Man story. Robert Shay and New Line Cinema had an option to the name Lawnmower Man and when he realised that Jobe mowed lawns, he had the scene where Jobe goes on a rampage with his lawnmower written in, as well as the talk the police chief has with Brosnan, which wsa taken from the origonal story.

    August 26, 2008

    Zhal said:

    Hmm, I think I’m gonna have to give it another go sometime with the director’s cut. Just watched the theatrical cut it seems and it was in my opinion just ridiculous.

    Though, with that said, regarding the special effects. What occurred to me were the possible hints at simulated reality. Like how Jobe “rips” the agents apart. That would give more logical reasons to all his abilities, as those abilities really put me off the cyberpunk mood. But I’m not sure if it was intentional, as the special effects alone are pretty much the only hints. If this makes any sense. Just my two cents. :)

    September 28, 2010

    Icarus said:

    I was a kid when I saw this, and I always thought it was awesome. I know its not the best of movies, but I actually have the SNES video game too. It’s hard as hell, but the atmosphere and music were cool for at 7 or 8 year old. The 90s culture and time period made this movie perfectily acceptable. Plus, I just laugh because Peirce Brosnan is in it, haha.

    Did you guys know the guy who plays Jobe is actually a soap opera stare?

    August 3, 2011

    Deadspace said:

    Its mega cool. Very King -ish.

    He is a master or weirdness and social commentary.

    I don’t like Brosnan, he’s a bit of a pretty boy and comes across as a poncy, upper class British nob.
    But that’s just me.

    I love anything by Stephen King.

    Why the local lawnmower dullard achieved more super intelligence than a chimp?
    Well, even as a dullard has a much bigger capacity for intelligence than a Chimp.

    And have you ever heard of an ethics committee?
    You dont have those pricks interfering in your basement ;)

    August 4, 2011

    Burnt_lombard said:

    Is deadspace trolling? Stephen King sued to have his name taken off the film cause it bared little resemblance to his short story.

    ~All Related Entries Related This~


    <<--Back to top

    Made with WordPress and the Semiologic CMS | Design by Mesoconcepts