By: Jacob Bloodee Jacob Babcock
Released in 1993, Cyborg 2 was the true film debut of soon to be superstar Angelina Jolie (Besides a brief appearance in “Lookin’ to Get Out”)! That’s right! The one and only Angelina Jolie, who is an acclaimed actor in many other even better films, made her lead debut in a sequel to Albert Pyun and Jean-Claude Van Damme’s original Cyborg! Van Damme is one of, if not, the greatest martial arts action star of all time depending on who you ask and Cyborg has always been one of my favorite flicks he starred in personally. As expected though this went the route you’d think, meaning no real connection to the first film.
It’s a very different style and vibe for the most part, although there’s a direct reference to JCVD’s human hero character via stock footage that pays the man some respect at least. Also titled “Cyborg 2: Glass Shadow”, this boasts the vibes of something of a noir, dark action, martial arts thriller. There are no scenes during the day so the film was able to at least maintain a somewhat gloomy atmosphere as Jolie’s character Casella “Cash” Reese and Elias Koteas’s Colton “Colt 45” Ricks (her combat trainer) follow the voice of “Mercy” (the late Jack Palance) as they fight the very organization that created her as well as the pursuit of an assassin played by the late Billy Drago who was sent by them.
The film is everything you probably think it is. The acting is all very B-Movie like which I’m sure was very on purpose…in most cases. Jolie (only 17/18 years old at the time) shows some promise of the all time great performer of mine she becomes and she even enjoyed learning some kickboxing! That was her only real takeaway from her time on this movie unfortunately though as she said she was proud of it while working on it and liked learning to fight a bit but she apparently got sick and somewhat ashamed when everyone sat down to actually watch the film. Not exactly a ringing endorsement from your lead who is someone that went on to have a career of picking out great projects.
Koteas is more likable then expected but felt kind of unnecessary for the amount of screen time the character had. Billy Drago though was great as assassin “Danny Bench”, portraying a very creepy and weird antagonist who I actually wanted to see more of. The action is all fairly basic though the shoot outs aren’t poorly staged or anything.
There is in fact some martial arts on display mainly from Jolie who you can tell learned as well as she could but the fight choreography and execution itself comes across as clunky and a little too slow at times. Still had to be in there of course due to the nature of the original film.
The story is engaging enough with a little twist or so but is ultimately forgettable. I know Angelina Jolie is embarrassed by this movie but if you’re as deep into the genre as me and the rest of you all are, you should know it’s not the worst of the mass litter we’ve all crawled through before.