Saturday, December 31, 2005

Day 92: The Lawnmower Man

What strange fate dropped this movie into my lap, the penultimate film on my movie-a-day viewing. What an odd, odd world it is to have this bizarre mashup of The Fly, Tron, and a vast array of other Frankenstein stories be second-to-last, gleaming with 1992 computer graphics and watered down Stephen King plot stylings. I am aware of the whole "Stephen King" deal with this film, the fact that his short story had so little to do with this film that his name was removed from all materials after a lawsuit. And yet, though his name isn't on it, the way the film is made and the way the plot progresses isn't unlike some of the awful adaptations made from King's work.

The movie draws its inspiration from the now laughable notion that virtual reality (as it was known in 1992) could change the world, creating alternate states of consciousness, brand new weaponry, and new educational possibilities. Pierce Brosnan is a lead scientist on the technology, working for a company more interested in the military implications of his work than the possibility for human advancement. When a chimp goes NUTS due to the experimentation he's undergone, Brosnan decides to take matters into his own hands and ply his trade on the local retarded lawnmower man.

This movie is fun-bad and the seriously dated computer effects are refreshing to these 21st century eyes. They're not trying to replicate any degree of reality, rather to create a new emotional landscape and I wish more effects work in films was that honest. The film opens with a sequence in which a chimp goes ape! on some military guys while wearing a virtual reality suit, so that's pretty fun too. The rest of the film trods on well-worn soil and the only deviations from this path are the nifty computer FX.

The film's conceptual use of virtual reality is somewhat prescient considering the hubbub that followed The Matrix and, in this way, earns some points. But, really, it's just a drag. Still, for bad movie lovers... this is a great one, oozing early 90s sensibilities, trapped by them, and unaware of this fact. If it were twenty minutes shorter, I'd call it a future camp classic.

1 comment:

The Lawnmower Man SoundTrack said...

I would like to see this film on theater only..I know I am late but still waiting for the day when it will come on any big screen an d I will go to watch :-).