Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996)

reviewed by
Tim Voon


                 LAWNMOWER MAN 2: Beyond Cyberspace 1996
                      A film review by Timothy Voon
                       Copyright 1997 Timothy Voon
             2 :-) :-)  for not trimming the grass properly

My lawnmower man is personable, friendly and always punctual. He does a wonderful job giving the grass an even trim and serves as an alarm clock on Friday mornings. When I hear the burrrrr of the motor I know I'm running late for work. He is not Lady Chatterley's Lover even though the neighbour has suggested a sensual thing or two regarding his manly machine and long thick rake. She was mightily disappointed last week when he didn't make an appearance because his gardening equipment had been stolen. Now who could have done such a criminal thing and denied dear 81 y.o. Ms Appleby from watching the lawnmower man at work. Apparently he had gone on a killing spree when his thrusty, I mean trustworthy hoe was stolen.

So my story seems a bit farfetched and my last statement appears totally false. However, my point is when your lawnmower man suddenly changes personality from a simple, non-malevolent person to a psychotic, power hungry murderer, more often than not someone has tampered with his neural pathways. The prime example of this situation is nicely outlined and documented in the original LAWNMOWER MAN movie. In this previous venture, the scientist (Pierce Brosnan) sticks electrodes where he shouldn't - namely on the guinea pig gardener's head. He creates Jobe (Matt Frewer), a supremely intelligent monster who not only survives battle within virtual reality, but has the gall to demand a rematch. The war waged between Jobe and mankind has become a personal vendetta for vengeance.

In this mad struggle over CPU processors, the computer generated god attempts to conquer mankind for ensnaring, transforming and ultimately empowering him. Peter (Austin O'brien) is the only member of the original cast to appear in the sequel besides Jobe. This boy befriended Jobe as a child, and has since grown into a young man surviving in the crime riddled streets of the future. He has made it his quest to save Jobe from himself, and his search leads him to the only scientist (Patrick Bergin) who can prevent Jobe from achieving world dominance and so on and so on.

Needless to say the performances by the actors are wooden, or should I say plastic. The poor direction and badly written plot results in a lack of genuine excitement or interest. This is not a compelling watch, and feels like a bad case of static. The problem with the Lawnmower Man 2 is in its conclusion. The all powerful Jobe is too easily defeated by a magical blade which appears from thin air. The result is the oversimplification of how to get rid of the bad guy - we'll just cut him in half! So mankind survives to fight another day, but perhaps the next time round a hose carrying fireman or a greasy looking construction worker will amuse us instead of this overworked simpleton gardener.

Timothy Voon
e-mail: stirling@netlink.com.au

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