Tuesday, July 1, 2014

90s Trash: The Lawnmower Man- Jobe's War

It's the end of the Franchise as we know it and I feel fine.  Today's film is The Lawnmower Man 2: Jobe's War, a 1996 movie that apparently had to happen.  Is Pierce back?  No.  He was James Bond by now, so he ain't doing this shit!  Is Brett Leonard back?  No, he had moved up to Virtuosity, so he was too good for this shit.  Is Jeff Fahey (as the title Character) back?  No.  He was...the villain in Darkman III, so he was still not doing this shit.  So who's here?  A Director/Writer with dubious credentials, the blond kid (and only returning Actor) and Max Headroom.  As I mentioned in the Comments for Bob's review of Generation X (TV), Matt Frewer played a man who was sucked into another reality (VR here, Dreamscape there) and gained super-powers in the same year.  What are the odds of that happening?  In this film, Jobe is still evil and we're now in some sort of vague future.  Will his new plans come to fruition this time?  To find out just how silly (even by this series' standards) this gets, read on...
In a loose retcon, Jobe's escape plan *sort-of* fails, but his body is recovered.  Now an amputee, he's brought back to consciousness and makes this silly face.
If you want to know how jarring this film can get to ANYONE who saw the last film, this is what you need to see...
So...anyhow, we see the kid from the last film (who was also 'That Kid from Last Action Hero') is now a teenager who steals to use VR.  Jobe contacts him asking for help in the most subtle way.

Wait a sec- why not give a time for the film if you're going to barely-age the kid up?  It can't be that long, can it?!?
The kids- sort of Steampunk Lost Boys- find this DIFFERENT Scientist to help out.  He's played by Patrick Bergin, here in the full Tommy Wiseau look.
Evil Science Company plans to take over the world by tricking people into using their one VR Program and taking their information.  This is *sort of* like the 'safety program as a trap' Plot Point from The Net isn't it?  Wasn't that made just one year before this?

Oh and way to be progressive with your choice of older white man as President.  The future is...not progressive just yet (with Deep Impact).
The kids and Bergin must stop Evil Science Company and Jobe, the latter of whom is secretly pulling the strings here.  He will take over on his own because...science and shit.
In a weird bit of almost-foreshadowing, Bergin and Frewer engage in a sword fight.  I say that since the original film's Director made the last (terrible) Highlander film.

The fight ends with an anti-climax as they just destroy the one Deus Ex Machina chip.
Now here's where shit gets really dumb.  Jobe starts to have 'flashbacks' of his early life.  These, however, are actually NEW scenes shot with a stand-in for the kid (who, again, is in this movie!).  They also seem to get the memory wrong...
To complete the final insult, Jobe regresses to his pre-enlightened mind and is INSTANTLY FORGIVEN FOR TRYING TO CONQUER THE WORLD!!!!

You folks deserve to get conquered!  The End.
Eegah, this one is ridiculous!  Hell, Eegah! is almost less silly than this film!  Where do I start?  The time-jump?  The silly Plot Points?  The post-apocalyptic 'can't be that far ahead, but is' future setting?  The goofy so-called Science on hand?  Alright, that one.  In one bit, Jobe hacks into the Automatic Pilot of a Plane to kill a U.S. Senator (and a plane full of Poor Bastards of Cinema) by crashing the plane.  Um, how?  At least they cut down on the Reality-Altering shit from the last film.  I feel like addressing the 'The Future' bit just one more time.  You kept the same kid from the last one and made him a teenager...yet acted like your film took place some vague amount of time later.  Pardon?  If you had made him an Adult, I would have less problem with this.  The Setting is another goofy part.  Los Angeles is basically the prototypical Steampunk-like cityscape that everyone has been copying from Blade Runner.  Lame.  I will say this: Frewer at least keeps things interesting.  While his Jobe is goofier than Fahey's, he is at least more interesting than the 'Lost Boys,' Evil Science Company or the romantic angle with Bergin.  They could have REALLY toned it down though if I was supposed to take it seriously.  This is the same film which has a character talk about how Virtual Reality has become 'the new Reality,' so I could never take it *that* seriously.  Watching both films in pretty much the same day is an especially jarring experience.  Much like seeing the sudden-Recasting from Subspecies to Subspecies II, it is a weird jump from film-to-film.  Speaking of weird jumps, enjoy this obvious wire...
Next up, let me wrap up this look at the Lawnmower Man films with...the Original.  Courtesy of the Internet, I give you the original 'Dollar Baby' Version of the King story.  Stay tuned...


  1. I remember seeing this one and hating it all the way....haven't revisited and don't plan to. I mean, how bad a choice was the actor who plays Lawnmower Man? The worst choice! For this role anyways.

  2. I would like to mention is that Dr. Benjamin Trace (played here by Partrick Bergin) seems to be a obvious stand-in for Dr. Lawrence Angelo (who was played by Pierce Brosnan, before he went off to play James Bond) from the first film, who was last seen saying that he was going back underground, never to be seen again after his V.R. experiments turned Jobe into a monster.