Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996) – Review

1 Star

In the annals of unnecessary sequels Lawnmower Man 2 ranks amongst the worst. Rightfully taking its place along side undistinguished company like Blair Witch Project 2, Species II, and Pet Cemetery 2, just to name a few. The only returning member from 1992’s Lawnmower Man is Austin O’ Brien, no longer a silly looking adolescent, but a goofy looking teenager. This is one of the most preposterous movies I’ve ever seen, and I have sat through all the Highlander movies, and Super Mario Bros.

Matt Frewer (resembling a low-rent Jim Carrey) steps in for departing cast member Jeff Fahey in the role of a simpleton, who was transformed into a psycho, now controlling every network on the internet. Now, twenty-years removed its amusing to note all the factual errors about coding and the idea of a physical cyberspace. My favorite line of dialogue, “We must find a trapdoor entry to cyber-space.” Ah, sometimes I miss the computer naivety of the Clinton era. When nonsense babble like this could pass for scientific jargon.

Patrick Bergin replaces (sorely missed) Pierce Brosnan in a role that provides audiences the rare glimpse of witnessing an actor of reputable talent hidden under a hippy wig, running around on sets that look like leftovers from Freejack, and battling with swords. It’s an especially bad performance in a movie brimming with cheese.

The subtitle for the film is either Beyond Cyberspace or Jobe’s War depending on if you caught the movie during its ultra brief theatrical run or on home video. The most positive thing I can say for the movie is that it uses the virtual reality better than the first film. In the original it was a gimmick to entice teenage boys, still hunkering for CGI in the wake of T2, into buying tickets. But the VR sequences felt like an after-thought, not essential to the plot. Lawnmower Man 2 actually uses the theme and builds a (once again, preposterous) plot around the idea of cyberspace and virtual reality. Director Farhad Mann and lead actor Matt Frewer worked together in a much more successful capacity on the iconic 1980s series Max Headroom.

Director: Farhad Mann
Stars: Matt Frewer, Patrick Bergin, Austin O’Brien

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