This may come as a shock to some of you, but the producers of this movie appear to have thought about their intellectual property for more than ten seconds and decided they’d probably ought to have a half-decent reason for making a sequel. Rather than just replace all the actors, keep the robot “trackers” and tell largely the same story again, they kept the characters, built on their stories and made a sequel which extends things in an interesting way.
I know, right? Now, none of this is to say it’s very good, but they deserve credit where it’s due. Returning are Don “The Dragon” Wilson as undercover Secret Service agent Eric Phillips, Stacie Foster as investigative journalist / former terrorist / Eric’s wife Connie, Steve Burton as good guy Jared, and Jim Maniaci as the Cyber-Tracker. Only by this point, Trackers are used as good guys, helping the cops out – Eric tries to get “No. 9” to refer to him by his first name, but No.9 is programmed for formality.
So, the plot. A lot of the plot is based around (I presume) the producer owning both a second-hand car lot and an explosives factory; because so many cars get blown up or wrecked, and so many gigantic explosions happen, that I began to wonder if this wasn’t a very specialised fetish video. A group of villains, led by Paris Morgan (the great Anthony DeLonghis, “Highlander: The Series”), is getting hold of government-issue cybernetic technology, lots of weapons, and is…well, it’s one of your generic world domination things, I think. They’re well aware that no-one came for the plot, so that’s dispensed with as quickly as possible.
A large portion of the movie is based on Morgan making perfect cyber-copies of Eric and Connie, and setting them loose to cause destruction, kill off their enemies in the police department, and so on. Herein lies a problem, one of the sorts of problems that movies like this come across from time to time. If the plan was to take over local government, start building a power base and spread from there, why bother antagonising the guy who whupped a load of Tracker ass in the last movie? Why not just try and not mess with him or his wife, who has the ear of the world’s media, at all? But, even though their plan is dumb and hinges on normal Eric and cyber-Eric never being seen at the same time by anyone who cyber-Eric doesn’t immediately kill, the plan works for the entire second act of the movie.
Stop thinking about it. “But, he’s a huge hero. Why would he wipe out a whole police station?” Sshhhh. Leave it.
I like how they try to give us a little taste of the future, still, which indicates someone thought about the world they were inhabiting. Eric appears to have upgraded his sexy home security system to one with a hologram of the top half of a beautiful woman – she still flirts with him, and gives them an “I know what you’re doing” look when they ask for privacy mode to be enabled so they can have sex. I’m not sure I’d be thrilled with my own home becoming jealous of me, but so be it! And the police chief’s daughter pops over to train in martial arts, which involves her plugging in a VR headset and fighting the cheesiest computer simulation. I wonder if it’d have looked impressive in 1995? Maybe not.
But the plot and the world building, much like in the last movie, takes second place to fights, car chases and explosions. So many explosions! There are a couple of gun-battles which go on for what feels like forever, and they follow the path of the first one – indestructible robot stands in the middle of a bunch of people who can’t shoot or find cover, several hundred bullets fly about, eventually the non-robots fall over. Then there’s a ton of car chases as well, one in the huge LA storm “drains”, the other in “that” motorway tunnel; both locations have been in hundreds of movies.
There’s a character called Kessel, played by Athena Massey, and she’s great. The villain’s main assistant, I was really looking forward to her chewing some scenery and having a cool death scene, but she’s relegated to feuding with the heroes’ third banana Jared, who I honestly didn’t even remember was also in the first movie (and I watched them two days apart). Way too much time is given to the robotic Eric and Connie.
And, while we’re being honest, there’s way too much borrowing of scenes from other, better movies – for instance, there’s the police station scene which is a direct lift from “The Terminator” (but in this, no-one wonders how one apparently normal man can slaughter an entire police station, get shot dozens of times but be completely fine). The whole experience leaves you, honestly, feeling slightly numb. There’s so much gunplay, and so many explosions, fights, and car chases, that no one bit stands out. I never thought I’d say this, but I kept wishing for a quiet conversation or something, just to break it up.
I do want to mention one last thing, perhaps the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen in a reasonably budgeted b-movie. At around 1:21:00 (it’s on Youtube, you can watch it yourself if you like), there’s a shot of a guy standing in a corridor, only they forgot to put anything on the blue screen behind him! So, he’s stood in front of an effect which isn’t there, and then he gets shot and the crashmats he lands on are clearly visible, and not just for a tiny instant either. It’s one of the most egregious errors I can think of in a movie of this stature, and I love it a little bit more because of it.
I’ve spent a long time criticising this, and it’s definitely not perfect, but it’s so energetic that you can forgive it a lot. Apparently, PM Entertainment are a company that specialised in wild OTT movies like this, so expect more reviews of their stuff in the weeks to come.
Rating: thumbs in the middle