In Cyborg Soldier, former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin stars as I.S.A.A.C., a genetically altered assassin determined to bring down the crooked military institution that first set about creating such ruthless killing machines. Strangely, the film did not receive an Academy-qualifying theatrical run.
The story? I.S.A.A.C. (Intuitive Synthetic Autonomous Assault Commando, for all you acronym fiends out there) is the first prototype of a confidential “human weapon” program that genetically reconstructs humans to become deadly assassins. Searching for freedom and the truth about his military group, I.S.A.A.C. sets off on the lam, taking Deputy Lindsay Reardon (Tiffani Thiessen) as a hostage. Their lives collide as they try to expose the secrets and lies of the corrupt organization, headed up by smooth-talking Simon Hart (Bruce Greenwood).
Directed by Johns Stead, who also wrote the film with John Flock and Christopher Warre Smets, Cyborg Soldier is hamstrung by never really locating its raison d’etre. Probably first and foremost, of course, the movie wants to service action fans, but its perfunctory set pieces,
many of which end before they ever really seem to get going, is hardly the “highly charged explosive thrill ride” its cover box promises. On a certain level, too, the movie wants to be a paranoid, putting-in-right investigatory thriller, though the means by which I.S.A.A.C. and Lindsay unearth certain clues about his past and predicament are almost always arbitrary and/or ridiculous. There’s a pinch of Shooter here, and of course a healthy smear of more obvious influences like Robocop and Universal Soldier, but what’s most sorely lacking is some sort of spitfire chemistry or, failing that, clever interplay. Plenty of movies throw a guy and girl together for reasons having to do less with story than some predetermined commercial necessity — 1994’s The Chase, starring Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson, comes to mind — but it’s what happens once those characters are together that matters. In Cyborg Soldier, it’s unfortunately just a bunch of inane chatter. And no, Thiessen does not get naked, guys.
Housed in a regular plastic case with a PhotoShopped cover of Franklin with a hat pulled low over his eyes (and thus undercutting the movie’s most salient selling point), Cyborg Soldier is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with an English language Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound audio track and optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles. Apart from a gallery of preview trailers for other First Look home video releases, there are unfortunately no other supplemental features. Even just a brief chat with Franklin would have gone a long way toward rallying the UFC base presumably most interested in this title. Alas, we’re left wondering where that charisma is that made folks think Franklin was a natural to headline a movie. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. D (Movie) D (Disc)