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The Lawnmower Man

Lawnmower Man, The (1992) Movie Poster
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  •  UK / USA / Japan  •    •  108m  •    •  Directed by: Brett Leonard.  •  Starring: Jeff Fahey, Pierce Brosnan, Jenny Wright, Mark Bringelson, Geoffrey Lewis, Jeremy Slate, Dean Norris, Colleen Coffey, Jim Landis, Troy Evans, Rosalee Mayeux, Austin O'Brien, Michael Gregory.  •  Music by: Dan Wyman.
        A scientist performs experiments involving intelligence enhancing drugs and virtual reality on a simple-minded gardener. He puts the gardener on an extensive schedule of learning, and quickly he becomes brilliant. But at this point the gardener has a few ideas of his own on how the research should continue, and the scientist begins losing control of his experiments.

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Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
Image from: Lawnmower Man, The (1992)
This movie is just one purely awesome movie. From the cuts one would expect a movie that is simply showing off virtual reality, but it is much more than that. Sure enough, there are some brilliant virtual reality scenes, and it does explain things about it, but the explanation moves from a simple advertisement to the extent of the possible abuse of the technology.

Lawnmowerman is not a science-fiction movie, it is a horror movie. When I say horror movie, it is not horrible monsters chasing maidens everywhere and ripping people to shreds, rather it stretches reality to a point where we can see a possibility in what is being portrayed in the movie as actually happening. On the cover, the credits say "based on a short story by Stephen King." There are aspects of Stephen King in this movie, such as The Shop, which is a government research facility devoted to the development of almost occult powers with the purpose of waging war, but Stephen King did not give permission to make this movie, and when he sued the makers of the movie, they were forced to remove him from the credits.

This movie looks at man's basic obsession with power. Doctor Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) is really a naive scientist who has a romantic view of science. His romantic discoveries are corrupted by the Shop's desire to see how far they push the experiments in the development of a weapon of war. Angelo wants to create something that will aid humanity, but unfortunately he must go to the Shop as they are the only ones who have the facilities, but with their facilities comes the pressure to develop something they can use. Their interests are not in helping people, but in destroying people.

There are two sides to everything in this movie. On the simple level there is Father Macay, who is a kind priest that took Jobe in when he was young and abandoned. On the other side he is tyrant side, using his good deeds to enslave Jobe. Jobe's simpleness creates a dichotomy, as on one hand he is innocent and friendly, where as on the other hand he is ridiculed and easily manipulated. Doctor Angelo is a brilliant scientist who is working at the cutting edge of computer science, where as he is a man who is obsessed with his work to the point that he drives away his wife.

The project is what reveals the greatest dichotomy. This is a breakthrough in regards to healing the retarded. People that were once ridiculed because of their backwardness can now live among normal human society. When we look deeper we notice that Doctor Angelo really does not know what he is doing. He thinks he is helping Jobe but we notice that things are changing about him. Not only is he becoming like everybody else, but he is developing extra abilities. When Jobe is first operated on, we see symbols flashing at him. These symbols appear to be related to sorcery which suggests not only that Doctor Angelo is working with things he does not understand, it also raises the possibility of an evil, uncontrollable side to it.

The uncontrollable side comes out when the project 5 formula is used on Jobe. This formula is supposed to be the formula used to reach the maximum mental capacity. It had been used of chimps with surprising results, but also there was another side to it. Where as it advanced the chimps mentally, it also made them more aggressive. The same is with Jobe. We see that he advances to an extraordinary stage, he is almost a god, but he also becomes incredibly aggressive, almost inhuman. Even though, there is still a very human aspect to him. When he confronts his enemies, father Macay and Jake, he gives them a chance to repent; when they do not then they are dealt with. He does not let on that he is incredibly powerful, but once they realise it, it is too late. When Peter is trapped in VSI, Jobe cannot allow him to die. He has a choice between trying to escape the mainframe, or letting Doctor Angelo rescue him. The pain of the choice, and the humanity that still does remain within him is represented by his icon becoming flesh.

An interesting event in the movie is with father Macay. Though he is a minor character, his character is developed well. He is portrayed as the typical hypocritical catholic priest. His quote "how can we let these godless creatures on the sacred altar" really outline his ignorance, especially how God created the ants. His comment on the sacred altar is meaningless because all it really is is a piece of wood with a piece of cloth on it. The sacred altar is an old testament concept, whereas Jesus' death wash all of this away. The book of Hebrews clearly outlines how these rites are no longer necessary. His ignorance is even more clearly seen when he says, "and he will bring the wrath of God upon him just like his namesake." All I can say to Father Macay, open your bible and read it. God was not angry with Job and did not punish him. Rather it is more about suffering. The bible is very clear that Job was a righteous man and that God was not punishing him. We also see the results of this ignorance when Jobe is doing his penance. He quickly finishes it off and immediately turns away from God and worships the lawnmower. This looks stupid, but it is something that really happens. The hypocrisy of many Christians drive people away from God and to other, stupid, idols, such as football.

The Lawnmowerman is an awesome movie, one that I have bought, and will watch again. I love this movie and would highly recommend it to others.


Review by david-sarkies from the Internet Movie Database.