Friday, August 30, 2013

Rip-Off Cinema: Gangster World

Before J.J. Abrams gets his hands on this (topical!), let's see what some hack did in 1998.  It is time to visit Gangster World!  We've got the Director of...well, just this movie.  We've got the Writer of Mercenary (never heard of it).  We've also got the Writer of The Nutty Professor (the Animated one from 2008, mind you).  Okay, let's look at the Stars.  The lead Robot had...a small part in Abelar: Tales of An Ancient Empire, while it's main lead had a small part in Sometimes They Come Back...Again.  Hmm...this isn't working.  Let's start from the beginning.  There once was a story called Westworld and it was good.  The sequel...not so much.  The TV Show...well, the Pilot (which comes on the Blu-Ray release of Westworld) was alright, but the show only lasted one Season.  Cut to the 1990s and we have a nice, juicy rip-off to cover.  There are some things different and it ultimately plays out a bit differently, but there's no getting past what they steal.  To find out if it's worth the admission price, read on...
The film begins with the ending.  No, really.

Our hero is being interrogated in regards to what went wrong.  Gee, I wonder if he survives the movie...
Gangster World is a place where people go to let out their darker instincts and beat up thematic robots.  Ignoring the fact that the idea of 'letting out your anger to stop violence' was disproved in the 1970s, they also state that crime has been cut in half.  How?
The film shows that it can rip off more than one film.  The seemingly-evil A.I. (not HAL) creates a naked robot to fight the Guards.  Oh hi, Terminator!

You're the awkward cross of Ahnuld and Daniel Bernhardt.
The plot involves the Robot trying to catch/kill our hero, who is, in turn, trying to rescue his lady co-worker/love interest.  It's a classic example of Damsel in Distress Syndrome.  She's tough-as-nails...until the plot says that she has to be captured.
This somehow leads to the Robot and Scientist working together.  It's silly, but whatever.  This just means lots and lots of action scenes.

The problem is that they are so mindless and repetitive that I could barely enjoy them.
One highlight, however, is this bit where a Robot gets shot.  His reaction is about 5 seconds too late, which means that he 'gets shot,' stands there and then suddenly jumps back!  Glorious crap.
Oh look- a ticking clock scenario.  Going for the real unique Plot Devices, huh?
On the plus side, this ending bit reminds me of Fallout 3.  On the negative side, it reminds me of the annoying way that they forced your hand in that same ending.  Sorry, Gangster World.
Naturally, the guy who narrates the tale and shows up unharmed manages to make it out.  On top of that, the good Robot and the slutty Robot escape too.  Sequel-bait?  The End.
Last time I saw this movie, it was better.  To be fair, this is not a 100% rip-off of Westworld.  It also rips off The Terminator and 2001: A Space Odyssey too.  Pointless Trivia: Marvel Comics Character Machine Man debuted in a comic adaptation of 2001 (written by Jack Kirby).  That useless (unless you're on Jeopardy) bit of information is far more interesting than 99% of this movie though.  There's plenty of action, including bad kung-fu fights, shooting and lots more shooting.  If this film was rated based on how many rounds of ammunition they fire, it would have a 1,000,000,000 out of Ten.  Don't ask me how that works.  If you can accept that this film has nearly no original ideas, you can have a good time with it.  It's mostly the worst kind of DTV fluff though.  There's no substance, no flair and just lots of bang.  On the plus side, it has a Robot who has gained Shaft's super-power of randomly-summoning pants to wear...
Next up, a film by the man who brought us Versus and Midnight Meat Train.  If No One Lives, does that mean that I die too?  Stay tuned...

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