Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Wright, Mark Bringleson,
Geoffrey Lewis, Jeremy Slate, Dean Norris
1992, 105 Minutes, Directed by: Brett Leonard
A scientist (Pierce Brosnan) is trying to utilize technology for governmental
gain. As with all top-secret government projects in the movies, it goes horribly
wrong. Forced to progress from a chimp to a human subject, Brosnan secretly
recruits local backwards boy and lawnmower pusher Jobe (Jeff Fahey). The
increases in intelligence are alarming. He learns Latin in two hours, becomes an
object of sexual desire and then develops telepathic and telekinetic abilities. —
Virtual reality finally hits the big screen - but not exactly in
the way sci-fi fans or virtual reality boffins would have liked
VR boffins complained that Lawnmower Man created
unrealistic expectations amongst the public of what to expect
from their "LSD of the 1990s" (as once 'Sixties drug
guru Timothy Leary dubbed it - talk about creating unrealistic
expectations!). Sci-fi fans complained that the movie was mostly
had it right: the plot, a mishmash of horror and the latest in
technological buzzwords, doesn't quite make the grade. Effects
wise, this film deserves all the accolades it can get. The
computer graphics are spectacular for its time and this movie is the first
time cyberspace really makes it to the big screen. However, one
cannot help but leave the cinema feeling cheated, feeling that
all those incredible graphics might have been better served by a
better screenplay - perhaps William Gibson's Neuromancer...
"This film gets three stars purely for its special effects . . ."
gets three stars purely for its special effects - and the lucid
way in which it brings the concept of Cyberspace to a larger
(movie) audience. The plot, alas, is pathetic. It is loosely
based on a short story by horror maestro Stephen King.
it is so loosely based on it that King publicly disowned the
movie. Not because it is a bad movie - God knows how many bad
movies had been made out of Stephen King material! - but because
the only thing the film and the short story had in common was the
title. Then the movie's producers also had the gall to sell it as
Stephen King's the Lawnmower Man on the movie posters . .
movie involves a scientist who makes a genius out of a simpleton
with smart drugs (as in Frankenstein) and VR techniques. Jobe (he
really is a Lawnmower Man having worked as a gardener
previously) goes on a rampage killing off people as he goes
along. One victim falls victim to a lawnmower he telepathically
controls - I kid you not!
Finally he downloads himself into the
Internet where he becomes a god of sorts - CyberJobe or something
like that. Not scary and ridiculous at times, Lawnmower Man
is a wasted opportunity.
It is partly because of this movie that
when William Gibson finally made it to the big screen with
Mnemonic it was
nowhere as new or fresh as it could have been had it been made at
the same time as Lawnmower Man.
Followed by a pointless sequel Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace