Friday, February 19, 2010

Eliminators (1986)

Quick Synopsis: Mandroid, a half-man, half-robot, escapes from his creator's compound when he learns of his scheduled termination. He tracks down a woman who developed the robo-technology that allows him to still exist and takes her back to the compound to exact revenge. Also, a ninja fights time-traveling Cro-Magnon men.

So this must be what schizophrenia feels like or at least is a reason as to why parents are so quick to put their children on ADHD drugs these days. We really don't need any more Eliminator-esque scripts floating around.

Mandroid is in actuality John Doe, a lost fighter pilot who was found half-dead by a James Bond villain and transformed into his conflicted self in order to steal treasures from Ancient Rome. Throughout the film, several characters express disbelief that a Mandroid can exist, yet no one questions the fact that time travel is easily accessible...just saying. But then, Reeves (the evil-doer) arbitrarily decides he has no further use for Mandroid and orders his destruction. With the assistance of a sympathetic scientist, Mandroid escapes in his "mobile unit." This occurs early on and unfortunately acts as the highlight to the film. The mobile unit is basically just tank treads that the Mandroid screws himself into and manipulates by leaning forward. Basically, a more cumbersome Segway if the point was to make simple travel needlessly difficult.

Mandroid then travels an unknown distance to find a female scientist who created the technology that now inhabits half of his body. She does fix a few malfunctioning circuits on him, but then joins his crusade to go back the way he just came to take over Reeves for no reason at all. Perhaps she just needed a vacation as the compound is in the not all that exotic locale of Mexico. Might I mention that there aren't a whole lot of Mexicans in Mexico, at least according to Eliminators. They somehow fit in a cartoon character Frenchman with a thin mustache and thick as molasses accent, but yeah, like one Mexican in the whole country.

The middle section of the film almost completely abandons the sci-fi aspects that were set up from the beginning in favor of a treasure hunt action plot complete with poor man's Indiana Jones, known here as Harry Fontana. They meet a ninja also looking for Reeves who is the son of the scientist that helped Mandroid escape. They are captured by Neanderthals that I guess came through the time portal somehow (never explained). Reeves turns himself into a Roman Warrior with lasers and kicks everyone's ass(es) before jumping time to go rule in Rome. I am not sure I have ever seen a film where the villain is not hurt in the least during the final battle. Mandroid dies to save the lives of the others and surprisingly (or maybe not so considering how dull he really was) none of them mourn him for even a second. Instead they go and smash the time travel mechanism and send Reeves millions of years back to when the Earth was but a hot mess...and that's it.

It started so strongly. I am seriously considering starting work now on a Mandroid with mobile unit Halloween costume, but then just went from one random scene to another with little action and fewer laughs. So it goes.


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