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Rated R
Copyright 1994 Nu World
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 17 May 2008

The Characters:  

  • Jack Ryan - DEA agent. Notice the motorcycle, sunglasses, leather jacket, and fanny pack. This guy is a loose cannon!
  • Liz McDowell - Deputy director of the agency responsible for the cyborg program and a ball-buster. She does not like loose cannons interfering with her operations, but Jack is the kind of guy who disarms tough women. She discards her untouchable image, dyes her hair red, and completely forgets how to act.
  • Sheriff Pickens - Retired from law enforcement, but blasted in his "instant hunchback" by a cyborg.
  • Captain Salerno - "Jack, you are a loose cannon! I am reining you in! Jack? Where are you going? Jack? JACK! Somebody get me a valium...and a doughnut! Make that two valiums!"
  • Dr. Owns - You know, if the only thing preventing a cyborg rebellion is the control bracelet on your wrist, not taking that off is a good idea. The eventual fate of this chap is a mystery; he suddenly disappears, never to be seen again. Not that it really matters, because it took me a while to realize he was missing.
  • Mike - Loose cannons have a tendency to get their partners killed. Mike dies.
  • Jesse Starkraven - Unbalanced and violent criminal. You do not want this bastard to come after you. You especially do not want this bastard to come after you if he is carrying a random piece of plumbing.
  • Spartacus - Starkraven is gutted and turned into this cyborg. Did you read my description of Starkraven? Why would any scientist in their right mind convert him into a cyborg soldier? Destroyed by Jack Ryan.
  • The Cyborgs - Slap a brown moustache on one and it would be indistinguishable from a UPS employee.
  • The Rest of the Cast - Most of them are either killed by cyborgs or beat up by Jack Ryan.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

The film starts with Starkraven and his hired guns using a pickup truck to execute a motorized assault on a fortified warehouse. The gang is after a drug lord who owes Starkraven money. Under heavy fire, the pickup truck smashes through a barricade of empty 55 gallon drums and enters the warehouse. Dozens of the drug lord's mercenaries are shot or blown up, but the truck passes through the incoming automatic rifle fire without so much as a single hole in it. Heck, only one of Starkraven's men is killed during the attack, and that when a guard stabs him in the stomach as the vehicle passes by.

The drug lord must have issued his men blank ammunition. That is the only possible explanation.

Once inside the building, Starkraven kills the drug lord before dozens of DEA vehicles arrive and a mini army of DEA agents jump out. One of the DEA agents is carrying an M16 with an M203 grenade launcher attached! Another shootout erupts and the DEA fares poorly, despite the fact that taking any sort of cover means a DEA agent is completely safe. The only time a bullet hits them is if they stand up. Even crouching behind a car door ensures that the agent will not get hit. Cars are completely bulletproof in this movie. There is only one time I can think of that a bullet actually creates visible holes in a car, and that is after the main bad guy becomes an artificial soldier. The cyborg's gatling gun does perforate the car, but the hero, hiding on the opposite side, is unharmed.

During a lull in the firefight, Jack Ryan arrives on his motorcycle. He ignores the Captain's orders and walks over to Starkraven's side of the warehouse to negotiate. Unfortunately, Starkraven hates the DEA agent for killing his brother. Which means Starkraven's failure to do in Jack is beyond me. Near the end (the fight turns into a kickboxing match), the criminal has the hero dead to rights. Starkraven is only a few feet away and is holding a loaded pistol. If he started pulling the trigger, Agent Jack Ryan would have become yet another name on a plaque somewhere. Instead, Starkraven points the pistol at Mike's head and pulls the trigger, thus allowing Jack the chance to gain the upper hand and complete the arrest.

The thing about criminal masterminds is that they rarely go away on their own (and the criminal justice system counts as "their own"). They always escape, take over the prison, or become the guinea pig in a scientific experiment that turns them into something ten times more dangerous than they were to begin with. In the case of Jesse Starkraven, he is transferred to a secret facility run by the ATG. His innards are scooped out and his skin removed; what remains is augmented with cutting edge hardware. The government is building experimental cyborg soldiers and Starkraven is the team leader. The scientists nickname him Spartacus.

Dr. Owns shows off the cyborg technology to a group of visiting VIPs. The cyborgs are covered with a bulletproof Kevlar skin that can resist temperatures up to six thousand degrees. Their vision is augmented by a pair of sunglasses that provide a heads up display, turn everything green, and reduce the incoming resolution to less than VGA. Not certain how that is an enhancement; maybe all of the cyborg project subjects were hopelessly nearsighted or completely color blind. Anyway, the control circuits for the artificial soldier are wired to the inside of a baseball cap, which I hope is tight-fitting. Otherwise, a windy day might result in the baseball cap flying off and the cyborg walking in circles until its battery runs down.

Well, you cannot have über cool cyborg troops without some unique weapons. All of the cyborgs are equipped with a storage compartment where their guts used to be. A gatling gun, a pulse laser, a flamethrower, and a small sword are stored inside. To arm up, a cyborg just sticks its right hand into the compartment. A squad of elves removes the regular hand and attaches the chosen weaponry. Then it is time to rock and roll.

How the cyborgs switch out their robotic hands for a weapon is never explained. Hence, I think that it must be elves. The dishwasher is another mystery that I explain via elves. You can even hear them moving around inside. Where all the ammunition comes from for the mini gatling gun is also a glaring problem, but trying to reason it out gave me a migraine headache. I got as far as the rounds being automatically teleported into the firing chamber before...

Ow. Ow, I say. Ow.

Spartacus breaks free and starts a cyborg rebellion, destroying the research laboratory in the process. The synthetic agent provocateur uses his soldiers to capture an alternate ATG laboratory, along with its all-important cyborg charging unit. ATG Deputy Director McDowell makes a good choice in cutting the fuel lines to the secondary facility (except it appears to be a power plant - Spartacus might not need a backup generator for a while). However, she fails to establish a control zone around the laboratory. What does it matter if the fuel supply is turned off when the cyborgs can go to the local gas station for more diesel?

Jack Ryan is not sitting back and sipping mimosas while all this is happening. He finds out about the ATG removing Starkraven from the prison and shows up at ATG Headquarters. When the suit in the office does not answer Jack's questions satisfactorily, things get rough. Ryan punches several people in the face. After that, the DEA agent finds that the ATG is keeping him under surveillance.

Agent Jack Ryan does not like to be watched. The only person allowed to watch Jack Ryan is Mrs. Jack Ryan, and that lousy woman filed for divorce after squeezing out a kid that looks nothing like him. Jack spots his tail and confronts them in the mall parking lot. This sequence, including the fight in the parking lot, has so many problems it is not funny. First off, Ryan's clothing changes between his house and the mall. Second, the ATG agents' car constantly moves around during the fight. Did you ever play the original "Diablo" on One moment you are swinging at a monster, then your screen freezes, and when it starts working again the creature's sprite teleports halfway across the screen. I understand why that sort of thing happens in online games. Seeing it happen to an actual car would frighten me. Reality does not have latency.

Those frustrated with "Duke Nukem Forever" might be willing to argue that point. This is a case of simple semantics, because it still involves a video game; they are just experiencing latency during the wait for it, rather than in.

You know what is great about my "Duke Nukem Forever" jokes? They are still funny, even after ten years.

Deprived of fuel, the cyborgs mosey on down to the local service station and kill everyone inside. They almost get a woman and her kid, but our hero shows up on his motorcycle just in time to save the day. Actually, the mother sees the cyborgs and leaves her son behind; Ryan scoops up the boy and dumps him into the moving vehicle before going back to face Spartacus. Then the Sheriff's Department (all of it, I think) arrives, only to get blasted to smithereens by the cyborgs. One speeding patrol car careens out of control and lands on top of Spartacus. The hydraulic villain pulls himself out from under the wreckage, only a little worse for wear (despite us seeing the mannequin, that took his place under the tumbling car, broken to pieces). Cyborg Starkraven is finally stopped by a diesel fuel tank - he picks it up over his head and Ryan shoots the tank, causing it to explode. Badly damaged, Spartacus orders the other cyborgs to take him back to the power plant.

At long last, Jack joins forces with McDowell. The two of them arm up with everything from a rotary grenade launcher to S&M studded thermite grenades. It is time to storm the cyborgs' fortress and save the world. Two against many! Flesh versus machine! Can Ryan do it? Of course he can. This movie has theme music and Agent Jack Ryan is feeling the theme music.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Metal drums are bulletproof, but should be filled with sand or concrete (anything besides air) if you intend to use them as makeshift barricades.
  • A grenade launcher is not a negotiating tool.
  • Party City sells bulletproof tablecloths.
  • Childless widows are the best babysitters.
  • GPS satellites are equipped with masers.
  • Hummer tried to market a minivan, but it was a commercial failure. Soccer moms did not like the mesh fencing on the windshield and prefer sliding side doors.
  • The British SAS provides security for nuclear power plants located in the state of Iowa.
  • The proliferation of rogue DEA agents is directly responsible for the disappearance of public telephones.
  • An improperly installed muffler can be fatal.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - I did not know that you could buy grenade shells for a sawed off 12 gauge shotgun.
  • 14 mins - You are less than ten feet away; just shoot him in the head.
  • 17 mins - Who folded that flag? Tell me. Tell me, so that I can kill them and teach the officers tasked with folding the flag for that funeral the correct way to fold a flag.
  • 43 mins - Jack, I think some used car salesmen are on your tail.
  • 50 mins - 360K of everything you ever wanted to know about the Hurricane Project.
  • 65 mins - Oh no, he is going in blind! Hahahaha! Ah! Stop! Don't hit! Don't hit!
  • 82 mins - What exactly does "a velocity of 2000 lbs per square inch" mean?
  • 92 mins - Six feet away from your opponent and you cannot hit him with a gatling gun. What sort of second-rate cyborg are you?
  • 93 mins - If the power was not out in Des Moines before, it is now.


  • Ms. McDowell: "Don't patronize me, Ryan."
    Jack Ryan: "Listen, why don't you cut the bull and answer me this: How is it that a mass murderer, on death row, gets picked up by your agency, turned into a friggen cyborg, and then set loose on a killing spree?"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note cyborgcopii1.wav Starkraven: "You blew him out of the sky last year in that raid. You put him in a bodybag! You killed my brother!"
Jack Ryan: "Listen, that never had to happen. He made the wrong choice. Now you don't have to make the wrong choice today; we can talk this out."
Starkraven: "I don't wanna talk to you, Jack. I'm gonna kill ya. I'm gonna rip your heart out. I'm gonna hold it in my hand. I'm gonna watch it drip..."
Green Music Note cyborgcopii2.wav Dr. Owns: "As you can see here the new generation of cyborg comes standard with thermal Kevlar, a skin impenetrable and heat resistant to six thousand degrees."
Green Music Note cyborgcopii3.wav Ms. McDowell: "Look, this is my operation, and I don't need a loose cannon telling me how to do my job!"
Jack Ryan: "Yeah, well you need something, and I'm about the best thing you've got right now. I know Starkraven better than anyone. You take a look around here. It's me he came for tonight; I'm his Achilles heel."
Green Music Note cyborgcopii4.wav Jack Ryan: "Let him go, Starkraven."
Spartacus: "Let him go? You're such a stupid human fool, Jack. I'm going to turn him into a cyborg. I'm going to turn your woman into a cyborg. Then I'm going to turn you into a cyborg!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipcyborgcopii1.mpg - 5.4m
Watch the cyborgs create a major manpower shortage in the county sheriff's office. You might notice two things. One is that the peace officers are safe so long as they crouch behind part of a vehicle. Two is the silver bulb attachment that a cyborg uses to blow up everything. That silver bulb is the cyborg's pulse laser weapon. Didn't you know that lasers cause massive explosions?

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