Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In this movie ‘Cyborg Soldier’, I.S.A.A.C (Rich Franklin), which is a acronym for something or another that I forget, is simply minding his own business trying to escape from a high security, top secret government lab run by the evil bio geneticist Dr. Simon Hart (Bruce Greenwood), snapping the necks and kicking the asses of unnamed security guard fodder desperately seeking FREEDOM. The problem is Isaac doesn’t really know what freedom is, where he plans to go once he gets free, or what his name is or why he even exists. Nonetheless he breaks out of his high security holding cell and is on the loose.

Across the way small town sheriff Lindsey Reardon (Tiffany ‘I'm not Amber anymore’ Thiessen) is doing some small town sheriff stuff in this cold town. Now the problem with this town being cold all the gatdamn time is that it keeps the crazy hyper developed Ms. Thiessen in flannel for the entire movie and this makes us sad. Perhaps she is with child and thus needs to be covered up, which would make us happy for her. Otherwise a crime against humanity has been committed, and thus we’re stuck watching ‘The Ladies Man’ to enjoy Ms. Thiessen as she was meant to be enjoyed, and watching ‘The Ladies Man’ more than once is never cool. Anyway Sheriff Reardon is driving down the street observing the stone faced super fit Isaac running down the street in these sub zero temperatures which has her curious. Isaas warns her that it isn’t safe, but she doesn’t listen as the Evil Doctor Hart has sent his evil crew of dressed in black commandos, led by the stern Beck (Kevin Rushton), who shoots Isaac about a thousand times. I should mention that these commandos first show up at Reardon’s police department and gruffly ask one her deputies if he’s seen Isaac. Of course he hasn’t and for his ignorance these guys completely eviscerate this dude for no earthly reason.

So they shoot Issac a bunch more times but he just gets back up, kicks some ass, jumps in the sheriff’s hooptie, takes her as a hostage and now we have a road picture

where our synthetic super soldier and our flannel clad hottie try to avoid the authorities. In between time we learn things about Isaac, like how he’s actually a criminal who murdered his family, though we’ve seen enough of these types of movies to that’s probably some okey-doke, we also get to learn how truly crazy the evil Dr. Hart is, we meet some serious government lady named Janice Fraser (Wendy Anderson) who is supposed to be monitoring the doctor, and might we add she’s doing a terrible job of it. We also get to see the commandos kill more law enforcement officers, which they probably shouldn’t be doing since killing cops, especially in these large numbers tends to bring unwanted attention, and we will learn that beneath his stern, rock hard, stoic exterior Isaac is a synthetic dude with a heart of gold who just wants to love and be loved in return. I made that last bit up, but he does have a heart made of gold. And nanobots.

‘Cyborg Soldier’ is a probably about as generic as an action movie that you’re going to see. It’s not that great but neither is it all that terrible. It is very similar to the Van Damme vehicle from a few years back ‘Universal Soldier’ with UFC tough dude Rich Franklin substituting for JCVD but alas, though I’m sure he can make JCVD tap out with a devastating submission hold, he unfortunately lacks Van Dammes charm and more amazingly, his acting ability. Considering the man’s no professional actor I can see where the filmmakers thought that making him a cold, stoic, cyborg – ala Arnold in the terminator - might cover some of that up, but it didn’t really. Good thing Bruce Greenwood signed on to breathe some much needed electricity into this flick as the evil scientist since watching Rich Franklin mimic a rock and observing Tiffany Thiessen in flannel wasn’t doing it for us.

There was plenty of action to be had in ‘Cyborg Soldier’ with all of the prerequisite running, shooting, hand to hand fist fights, death to law enforcement officers and explosions… I’m thinking director John Stead has little love for cops, but similar to the tone already set in the movie, most of the action was somewhat lackluster and lacked any real sizzle or fire. It wasn’t terrible but for a movie that pretty much is hanging its hat on its action scenes, these scenes just didn’t provide enough thrills.

‘Cyborg Soldier’ is slickly shot and produced with high production values but the narrative is a bit derivative, the story has been told better, the action scenes have been done better, and the cold robot assassin dude has been presented better. Barely passable entertainment at best.

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