Film (1992). Allied Vision Lane Pringle/Fuji Eight Co. Directed by Brett Leonard. Written by Leonard, Gimel Everett. Cast includes Pierce Brosnan, Jeff Fahey, Geoffrey Lewis and Jenny Wright. 108 minutes. Colour.
The full title is Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man, but the film has been repudiated by King, angry at the cynicism whereby his old short story "The Lawnmower Man" (May 1975 Cavalier) was purchased to exploit the marketing power of his name and then effectively discarded through being altered out of recognition. In this dumb rewrite of both Frankenstein (1931) and Charly (1968), an obsessive Scientist (Brosnan) uses a Virtual-Reality hook-up, along with Intelligence-raising Drugs, to change the local handyman (Fahey), an affable simpleton, into a homicidal Superman with Telekinetic powers who ultimately Uploads himself into the USA's information networks in order to "cleanse this diseased planet". The film's concepts and dialogue are uniformly contemptible – noting in awe that his creation has learned Latin in two hours, the brilliant scientist says: "It took me a year just to learn the Latin alphabet!" The Virtual-Reality effects on which the film relies (the suggestion being that computer-generated scenery makes you clever) are not remotely like reality, and are routine in execution. [PN]
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