I think that with a title like Live Wire 2: Human Timebomb, most people already know what to expect. This is the kind of straight to video junk that clutters up everyone's Blockbuster shelves and only gets rented when all the New Releases have been snatched up. To make things even worse, this isn't even a recent straight to video release, instead languishing in the vaults of New Line Cinema until the time was right for them to spring this illogical, ham-fisted, over the top mess on us. I mean, the pedigree of the movie is even sketchy, since the only film I found called Live Wire was a low budget actioner with Pierce Brosnan, which seems to have absolutely NO RELATION to this film.
Spilling over from the surprise hits of the 80's, Action Films truly became Hollywood's Bread and Butter throughout the 90's , so much so that they could be considered the Age of the Action Movie. Consistently breaking Box Office records, it was an age of one-ups-manship as Studio after Studio tried to top one another. Even Independent Producers wanted a piece of the pie and began to crank out low to no budget actioners one after another to satisfy the voracious demand. Only with hindsight can we see the true extent of the damage done by the feeding frenzy. Van Damme and Seagal are still household names, even though neither has appeared in a legitimate picture for years, John Woo has gone from being an Icon of the genre, to just another Hollywood Sell Out, and a 10 year old movie called Live Wire 2: Human Timebomb that wasn't even good when it came out 10 years ago is just now finding it's way onto DVD.
Former Soap Star and Martial Artist Bryan Genesse plays Parker, your typical renegade FBI Agent who only plays by his own set of rules. We meet him as he's staking out a big drug deal going down at an abandoned Drive-In Movie Theater. Parker is monitoring the proceedings from the least conspicuous place he could think of, which just happens to be perched atop the 40 ft screen. After the deal is done, he reveals himself to the assorted thugs and goons assembled announcing that they're all under arrest. Needless to say, their reaction is similar to what mine was, if we're down here and you're up there, I don't think you're arresting anyone. Parker proves everyone wrong though when a small traffic helicopter appears with some rocket launchers mounted under the wing and opens fire. As the goons blast away at Parker he unconvincingly rappels down the screen as explodes for some reason (was it supposed to do that?).
In the end, Parker finds that the deal was for a valuable microchip, one that enhances the senses and performance of a person while also allowing them to be easily controlled, thus making them the perfect killing machine. He also ends up with the mastermind behind the deal who just also happens to be the nephew of the second most powerful man in Cuba, General Arnaz. It seems that the US and Cuban governments are attempting to re-open trade routes between the two countries, so it looks like as a gesture of good will that Parker's prisoner is going to be switched with an American prisoner in Cuba. As luck would have it, the American Prisoner, Mike Young, was also Parker's Special Forces Teammate who was left behind after a bungled "Bay of Pigs II" style military operation.
The Treasury Agent assigned to oversee the exchange is Gina Young, who also happens to be Mike's sister. Once Gina and Parker are in Cuba, things turn ugly when she reveals that her operation is her own undertaking and isn't sanctioned by the US Government. Parker and Gina are captured and learn the horrifying truth, that the microchip they uncovered in Miami is being used to program an army of ultimate killers, as well as turning Mike, their one time friend/brother, into a yes, that's right… HUMAN TIMEBOMB!!! With Mike and the rest of these elite soldiers at his command, General Arnaz is going to blow-up the building where the US/Cuba Trade Summit is going on, murdering the ambassadors from those countries and establish himself as the new Leader of Cuba, or something.
Wow, this movie is so bad it might actually be good. No, what am I saying!?!? Well, I guess that I'm saying if you have a bunch of friends that like to get together and skewer bad movies MST3K style, than this one should be at the top of your list. There are so many ripe moments of unintentional hilarity that it's almost too easy. Take for example a scene in the beginning, as a car is barreling down on Parker who just narrowly avoids getting run over. Before the car flips over, you can clearly see that the driver is not some sleazy street tough, but is actually a Stunt Man with a helmet and full flame retardant, padded suit on. Also of interest to connoisseurs of bad cinema, is that anytime someone drives up in a car from the 1970's (hey, this movie was made in 1995 after all…), it's most certainly going to be blown up or riddled with bullets before being blown up.
Picture: The movie is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Sadly a movie this bad doesn't even deserve a transfer this nice. However the movie appears to have been shot on Super 16mm.
Audio: There are 3 separate Audio Tracks, and sadly not ONE of them is a commentary. There's a 5.1 DTS Audio Track, a 5.1 Dolby Surround Track and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. I listened to the Dolby Surround once again it sounded much better than a film like this should deserve, but I couldn't help but think that the crisp, clear sound may have actually made Bryan Genesse's acting seem that much worse due to his outrageous delivery of nearly every one of his lines.
Extras: Included as Extras on this DVD are previews for the Original Live Wire with Pierce Brosnan, Aces: Iron Eagle III which hilariously states "Coming Soon to a Theater Near You", A Man Apart and Excessive Force. There is also a Weblink with some DVD-Rom features.
Conclusion: I can't with a clear conscience recommend Live Wire 2: Human Timebomb even as a Rental. Hopefully, some of you will read this review and know if this movie is right for you. It's truly a relic of the days of Ball to the Walls Action Films, even if you didn't have a cast, crew or budget to pull it off, you still made a movie, Dammit! Live Wire 2: Human Timebomb brings new meaning to the term cheesy. It's like cheese, served with a side of cheese smothered in cheese. For those with the stomach for that kind of meal, enjoy.