But it’s not as if R.O.T.O.R. is held up as the pinnacle of originality, dismissed at the time (with ample reason) as a cut-rate Terminator or a discount RoboCop.
Cyborg Soldier, is a knock-off of a knock-off of a knock-off, and it’s a pretty precipitous slide from the aforementioned classics (and Universal Soldier too!), and the film’s hampered by a budget that’s not so much shoe-string as flip-flop.
Former UFC middleweight champ Rich “Ace” Franklin plays the cyborg.
He’s “The ultimate weapon,” and this is the ex-Ultimate Fighter’s first acting stint, playing a prototype not surprisingly, birthed from a secret government lab (where the best evil plots are hatched).
He’s a super-being, a genetically modified Ubermensch who speaks in clipped tones, and has never met a contraction apparently: “I DO NOT KNOW, I CAN NOT SAY.” Then again, that’s pretty much par for the course when it comes to robo-speak.
And he’s pretty much indistinguishable from your average human, save for a complete lack of emotion (OK, he shares that trait with sociopath humans) and weirdly, he’s never heard of Jesus: “Who is this Jesus you speak of?” You’d think that his Frankenstein creators would’ve added deities to this nano-tech automaton’s vocabulary for Christ’s sake!
It’s up to the cyborg and new ally Lindsay to find out his identity, and this leads to a bunch of exposition from the awesome Bruce Greenwood about a secret plot to turn federal inmates into cyborg warriors.
Sounds like a plan.
R.O.T.O.R. asked the question, “How do you stop a killing machine from going berserk?” And the answer in Cyborg Cop is apparently, get Tiffani Thiessen to humanize him. She does this while draped in a too-big plaid shirt, and looks like at any minute she’ll bust out a Crip walk.
Cyborg Soldier puts two words that when slapped together, should mean action movie gold. It doesn’t measure up, but has one amazing goon-kill, and some serious explosions. Plus, there’s the compulsory bullet self-removal scene.
** (out of 5)