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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cyborg Soldier
Cyborg Soldier
First Look Pictures // R // October 7, 2008
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Justin Felix | posted September 27, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Perhaps the most notable thing about Cyborg Soldier is that it's the film debut of Rich Franklin, former UFC Middleweight Champion. I'd never heard of Franklin before, and I'm not sure this material is the stuff that will launch a movie career. But, Franklin seems to have picked a safe vehicle for himself, considering he plays an emotionless amnesiac killing machine - a la Terminator or Universal Soldier - a role that requires little emotional range and lots of fight scenes.

Truthfully, Cyborg Soldier feels like a 1980s action film, full of clich├ęs and evil bad guy henchmen. But as such, it isn't all that bad as B movie action fare goes. In it, Franklin plays I.S.A.A.C., a genetically reconstructed human killing machine who escapes at the start of the movie. He crosses paths with Deputy Lindsay Rearden (Tiffani Thiessen) and the two go on the run, pursued by the evil scientist who created him and his gang of machine gun - toting bad guys.

You've got to love the bad guys in this movie. They drive around in black SUVs, and wear black leather jackets, black clothes, and black boots. They've got no problem with gunning down anyone who gets in their way - and gunning them down excessively. Sometimes people get shot by them 50 or 60 times. They also make bad jokes when they kill someone, and one of them even pulls out a missile launcher at one point. Yep, these are bad guys straight out of the 1980s.

So, you've got these maniacs chasing I.S.A.A.C. and Lindsay. For some strange reason, Lindsay forms a bond with I.S.A.A.C. and goes out of her way to help him discover his true identity - no small feat considering the bad guys have framed her for their evildoings and there's a dragnet out for her. Luckily, they manage to elude the bad guys at every turn. A laughable scene - reminiscent of gun battles, again, out of the 1980s - has I.S.A.A.C. and Lindsay fleeing machine gun fire in a police cruiser. Sparks fly as bullets magically bounce off the car, with the only damage being a shattered rear window.

Ultimately, this is a really silly flick, but it does manage to have a little charm. Again, Franklin is fine in his Arnold Schwarzenegger role - although his fight scenes are more reminiscent of the quick movements of Steven Seagal. Tiffani Thiessen is oddly appealing as the deputy, decked out in flannel for much of the film as it takes place during the wintry season. The ending is predictable, but the film has enough energy to keep one interested.

With no special features of note, I'll stick to a Rent It rating. Cyborg Soldier is competently made and fun to watch, but it's too familiar to other - better - sci-fi action movies to warrant repeated viewings.

The DVD

Video:

Cyborg Soldier is given an anamorphic widescreen presentation. Overall, the movie doesn't look too bad. Colors and detail are fine.

Sound:

Two audio tracks, both English language, are available on this disc: Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 and Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0. The 5.1 track seems to be the default. I had to set the volume a little higher than normal for this film, but the mix is otherwise pretty good with clear dialogue and crisp sound effects.

Subtitles are available in English and Spanish.

Extras:

Trailers precede the main menu for Sukiyaki Western Django, Kill Switch, War, Inc., and Blood Brothers. A Previews link in the menu system gives access to these trailers as well as Cyborg Soldier, August, Transsiberian, Birds of America, and Pricesless. And that's it for extras.

Final Thoughts:

This film debut for Rich Franklin, former UFC Middleweight Champion, is a fairly standard rehash of Terminator, Universal Soldier, and other android / cyborg killer movies of the past. It's entertaining enough for a B movie to take a look, if you're interested, and it's good enough for me to be interested in seeing another Franklin vehicle, should he choose to make another movie.

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