Monday 21 October 2013

The Lawnmower Man (1992)

Lawnmower, man.
Do excuse my fortnight absence from writing up films for The Penciltonian; a blend of business and laziness left me indisposed, but I'm back with these words on 'Lawnmower Man', a serious-minded vision of a year 2000 in which VIRTUAL REALITY is credible, practical and nineties beautiful.  You can tell it's from the nineties, as the CGI sequences resemble 'ReBoot', and every important scene is lit wholly in blue.

Our hero is a scientist played by young, dark-haired Pierce Brosnan, a couple of years before he became Bond.  At this point in his career he's just Some Guy and accordingly gives a less subtle, more theatrical performance than I've become accustomed to.  In looks and manner, he's a cross between Gaius Baltar and Dr Lucian Sanchez.  He works with the most colourful screen-savers, and is making breakthroughs in either brain chemistry or software.

The future of computing.
When his chimp dies of science, he recruits Jobe (who has extreme learning difficulties, but whose performance in no way resembles any of the learning-disabled people I work with), treating him with all the sciences combined in order to increase his brain, and the prominence of his naked torso.  Poor Jobe soon abandons his lazily-worn dungarees and takes to driving, sex and catastrophic mental spasms.  'Awesome dudical!'

What follows is a cyberspace horror, as Jobe's mind becomes inseparable from the Day-Glo CGI that dwells inside all computers, and he goes on a rampage of embarrassing character.  The special effects aren't what I'd describe as good enough for Youtube, and are probably the least impressive that I've seen during my century of film-watching.  The visual effects from 'Orphée' (1950), for instance, would stand up far better today than these do, and it's a great pity that the point where this film ought to turn from sci-fi to horror, it in fact loses its credibility and becomes 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace'

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