- The Lawnmower Man
It Lacks Qualcast Quality. The Lawnmower Man is directed by Brett Leonard who also co-writes the screenplay with Gimel Everett. It stars Pierce Brosnan, Jeff Fahey, Jenny Wright, Geoffrey Lewis, Jeremy Slate and Dean Norris. Music is by Dan Wyman and cinematography by Russell Carpenter. Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Brosnan) is a big mover in the science of virtual reality. When he tries his new technology on mentally challenged gardener Jobe Smith (Fahey), it elevates him to a higher intelligence and it’s not long before Jobe acquires scary new powers… Originally meant to be, and titled as, Stephen King’s Lawnmower Man, the film eventually, after a King lawsuit, ended up bearing very little resemblance to the author’s short story. There’s a couple of small ligaments that link the two, but in the main (not Maine) this Lawnmower Man is its own entity and an obvious attempt to cash in on the then virtual reality zeitgeist. Lawnmower Man has a cult fan base, of that there is no doubt, where much like Tron from 10 years earlier, the effects work and the capturing of something very much being “in” with the youth of the time, has proved perpetually appealing to nostalgists. But strip away these and you have your basic Frankenstein story for the 90s, a pretty standard story lacking intelligent smarts or deep thematic points of worth. And then of course there is the bizarre fact of having a film decrying the advancement of computer technology, by using computer technology to make the film’s strongest moments! Hee. It’s only adequately performed by the cast, and Leonard’s direction matches his writing, which is mundane when not about the visual effects; effects work that dated very quickly as it happened. Other cuts and sequels would follow, the former didn’t improve the same basic problems of the theatrical cut, the latter releases proved to be laughably bad. The Lawnmower Man, an interesting movie in the context of its time, and certainly fun enough for those who were there cloaked in a visually inspired warm glow, but it has not been a must see film for anyone else since 1995. 4/10
Ahead of its time. Unfortunately, the technology it uses was not. Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole.