He's the First Hero of the 21st Century... And He's Our Only Hope.

Science Fiction Action
86 min     5.5     1989     USA


A martial artist hunts a killer in a plague-infested urban dump of the future.


Kenneth Axel Carlsson wrote:
I remember seeing this movie in my youth, back when it was normal to make movies like this. Back then, the stars were named Stallone, Van Damme and Schwarzenegger, and no matter what they did, they couldn't go wrong. We all wanted to be like these. Today, luckily stars need acting skills and not just muscles and a bit of martial art skill. In fact, had this movie been made today, it might even have been a masterpiece to be compared to such post-apocalyptic movies as Children of Men and The Road. Lets take a brief look at the story, because there is a story hidden here somewhere. We are in The States, a world that has been destroyed completely by anarchy, genocide and starvation, a world where the plague has spread, keeping the population down to an absolute minimum. Somewhere, scientists have found a cure, though, a cure that everyone wants, for good or bad. A cyborg named Pearl is sent into the world to retrieve this cure, and at the beginning of the movie, we learn that she has found it and is taking it back to the doctors who created her. A cyborg, by the way, is a man (or woman) who have been so heavily implemented with cybernetics that they could no longer be recognized as being humans. Pearl is taken by Fender, a madman who also kicks off the movie as our narrator, explaining how he enjoys this new world. Gibs (played by Van Damme) briefly encounters the cyborg, but is really only interested in killing Fender. Those two have a dark past, a past that Gibs (or Gibson) relives throughout the movie in long flashbacks. He was once charged to get a small family to safety outside the city, but Fender interfered and tried to kill them. Now he even has one of the children, a girl named Haley, among his pirates. Gibson is followed by another girl, one named Nady. She is interested in the cure even though Gibs care little for this. They are unlikely travelling companions, but starts out on a big journey towards Atlanta, hoping to catch up with Fender and Pearl, to get revenge... and the cure. Along the way, they encounter many dangers, and finally catch up with the pirates. Cyborg is a low budget movie that tries too hard. Just take a look at the first scene, in New York. Less is more, and if only the director would have remembered that. If only I had had the option to remove the music, then I might actually have enjoyed the movie a little, but no, there is music in nearly all scenes, with only a few exceptions. Music that wants us to feel certain things, and that wants us to be prepared for what is coming. If only we were talking about a beautiful score by Hans Zimmer, but alas, we are not. So why do I ask if this is a failure, or a masterpiece? Well, what if the director deliberately used poor actors, to tell us something of the human race. What if he wanted us to think that all humans in this future were somehow cyborgs, part man, part machine? Unfortunately, this is not so, the director wants us to feel something for Gibs, Nady, Haley and Pearl, and therefore he makes them all human, a humanity that their acting skills cannot handle. Alas, this is not a masterpiece in any way, but a big failure, a movie with a tolerable plot, but that fails to deliver it in a believable way. _Last words... my only star goes to the two beautiful paintings of New York and Atlanta that we see in the beginning and end of the movie. These are hauntingly beautiful, but unfortunately, the rest of the movie... is not._