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Thursday, April 9, 1992
Stephen King does it again
Lawnmower Man is full of special
effects but lacks substance
I was excited to see
Lawnmower Man. Based on a
Stephen King short story,
starring Pierce Brosnan and
containing awesome animation, I
anticipated two hours of
excitement. Unfortunately, my
excitement was wasted.
The story isn't scary, but it is
Stephen King. The movie
revolves around something called
virtual reality. It is the fictional
computer system in which people
touch, move, etc. without
leaving a harnessed contraption
because it consists of visualized
The animation is good and it's used quite often in unusual ways
not seen in other films. Perhaps the most imaginative, creative
part is the love scene between a couple using virtual reality.
brain waves. Yes, safe sex that is
The scientist (Pierce Brosnan)
who is perfecting virtual reality
to increase general intelligence is
frustrated by a lack of support
from the conglomerate he's
working for. The dark and dreary
lab also seerirs to be* linked to :
some kind of military
Taking matters into his own
hands, the obsessed scientist gets
the Lawnmower Man, Jobe (Jeff
Fahey), to begin working with
his virtual reality programs at
home and to take drugs which are
painfully injected into his neck.
$8.25 starting pay,
flexible schedule to fit
classes. Full training
provided. May continue
full-time over breaks.
All majors should apply.
Call NOW 838-0752
Eventually Jobe gets smarter and
talks back to the people who
have picked on him; thus, the
scientist gets approval to expand
the treatments at the lab.
Things turn bad when the
supervisor adds some sort of
violent hormone into Jobe's
medication. Soon his headaches
increase and the lawnmower man
becomes psychic moving things
with his mind and increasing his
intelligence to the point where he
believes he is the messiah. But,
in reality, he begins to act more
Brosnan is not likable in this
role. He does not fit the role of
the mad scientist although he
appears dirty and grimy. His
character's devotion to work is
displayed in one scene where his
girlfriend leaves complaining of
But we don't know whether to
like him or hate him when he
risks Jobe's life to see if a human
increase. It seertts rtibst of the
movie he's nursing the same
glass of bourbon. Basically, his
character is underwritten and
Brosnan didn't try to develop his
character in any way.
Fahey has the difficult job of
playing the dumb but sweet
Lawnmower Man, then changing
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to a smart, masculine lover and
finally becoming almost satanic.
This is a broad range, but he
handles it well.
The animation is good and it's
used quite often in unusual ways
not seen in other films. Perhaps
the mest imaginative, creative
part is the love scene between a
couple using virtual reality.
Director Leonard and the virtual
effects designers use an
"abstracted, stylized expression of
lovemaking" in a scene between
Mamie (Jenny Wright) and Jobe
which is not graphic, but
expresses a "total unity."
Also, as the movie
progresses, Jobe gets rid of a few
enemies by turning them into
hundreds of balls ,of flying mass
circling in and out of human
shapes. These animated escapades
are difficult to describe unless
you're Stephen King, but they are
the best parts of the movie.
The movie is left open at the
end as mt&t King"’stories are, so
New Line Cinema is already
talking about a sequel. But
judging from the lack of box
office returns, it is not likely.
Except for the effects, this movie
is simplistic and predictable,
otherwise known as a small,
soon to be forgotten movie.
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