Lawnmower Man 2 – Beyond Cyberspace

Now fully freed from even a nodding acquaintance with the Stephen King short story (King successfully sued to have his name removed from the original film), this serviceable sci-fi actioner can focus on special effects instead of Gothic storyline.

With:
Patrick Bergin Matt Frewer Austin O'Brien Ely Pouget Kevin Conway Camille Cooper

Now fully freed from even a nodding acquaintance with the Stephen King short story (King successfully sued to have his name removed from the original film), this serviceable sci-fi actioner can focus on special effects instead of Gothic storyline.

Matt Frewer replaces Jeff Fahey as Jobe, who was transformed into a genius living in a computerized virtual reality in the last film, which is briefly recapped here. Now evil corporate interests (personified by Kevin Conway and Camille Cooper as the maniacal plutocrat and his icy assistant) have brought Jobe back to design a new computer system, to create a global network linking all computers that will be impossible to escape.

Representing the forces of good are a group of kids led by Peter (Austin O’Brien, repeating his role from the first movie) and Dr Benjamin Trace (Patrick Bergin), the ex-scientist who designed the ultimate computer chip only to see his investors steal it away.

Managing to transcend the formulaic plot are Frewer and Bergin, whose performances make the film work. Frewer, reunited with his Max Headroom director, Farhad Mann, veers from the real Jobe to the megalomaniacal virtual Jobe without missing a beat.

The film rises or falls on its special effects, credited to Cinesite. While pic doesn’t appear to break new ground in its cyberspace elements, it is handsome throughout, the integration of live actors with the virtual sets seamless. The CD-ROM version was reportedly shot at the same time so that the two versions will closely resemble each other.

Lawnmower Man 2 - Beyond Cyberspace

Production: New Line/Allied Entertainments. Director Farhad Mann; Producer Edward Simons, Keith Fox; Screenplay Farhad Mann; Camera Ward Russell; Editor Peter Berger, Joel Goodman; Music Robert Folk; Art Director Ernest M. Roth

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1996. Running time: 93 MIN.

With: Patrick Bergin Matt Frewer Austin O'Brien Ely Pouget Kevin Conway Camille Cooper

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