The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Cyber Tracker 2
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #390: Cyber Tracker 2
Don “The Dragon” Wilson December: Week 5
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been the subject of drone surveillance, at least as far as it knows, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number three hundred and ninety, Don “The Dragon” Wilson December concludes with Cyber Tracker 2, which debuted on home video way back in 1995.
Cyber Tracker 2
Cyber Tracker 2, directed by PM Entertainment co-founder Richard Pepin (he also directed the first Cyber Tracker), stars Don “The Dragon” Wilson as federal agent Eric Phillips, a badass undercover operative looking to take down a major criminal when the movie begins. Of course, as major criminal takedowns tend to go at the beginning of any sort of action flick, the takedown quickly goes south and Phillips is forced to defend himself against an onslaught of heavily armed bad guys. The bad guy onslaught, despite multiple exploding cars, is no match for Phillips’ backup led by old friend and fellow badass Swain (the now late but always great Tony Burton), a SWAT team armed with exploding laser shotguns, and a Cyber Tracker android cyborg (the returning Jim Maniaci) with a gatling gun arm. Once the bad guys are eliminated, Phillips goes home to talk with his home computer Aggie (Peggy McIntaggart) and bang his hot wife Connie (Stacie Foster). As you may recall from the first Cyber Tracker, Connie was a TV news reporter who moonlighted as the head of an underground organization known as the Union for Human Rights. She was considered a terrorist until the UHR was able to show the world that using cyborgs to kill criminals without a trial was a bad idea. She then apparently went back to being a TV news reporter and married Phillips, who joined her cause when he was the target of an assassination attempt. Phillips and Connie now live a sort of normal, boring life. They’re a couple, they’re busy with their individual jobs, but they somehow find the time to hang out with one another and, on occasion, have sex in the dark. It may not be the greatest, most exciting life in the world, but it works for both of them.
So, of course, Phillips’s and Connie’s lives go to hell when it appears that Connie, while covering a press conference featuring the governor of California, kills the governor in cold blood. How the hell did that happen? And why would it happen? Why would Connie want to kill the governor? Phillips immediately tries to figure out what the hell is going on, along with his brother-in-law and fellow UHR hoodlum Jared (Steve Burton). Little do Phillips and Jared know that an underground criminal organization is using the remnants of the cyborg technology seen in the first Cyber Tracker to create a series of undetectable cyborg assassins. Led by professional scumbag Paris Morgan (Anthony De Longis), the governor’s assassination was initiated by the lieutenant governor Damien Rhodes (Stephen Rowe), a man who just wants more power for himself. Or something. I’m not really clear on what, exactly, Rhodes wants beyond power.
The authorities put out an arrest warrant for Connie and send assassination Trackers after her, hoping to either kill her or get her to give up. Connie doesn’t give up, though, and stands behind Phillips, who can’t believe that he has to kill goddamn cyborgs again. Cyborgs are supposed to be his friends now. They’re not supposed to be the bad guys. Cyborgs save cops!
So after destroying a Tracker assassin and deciding that they’ll have to go back to fighting cyborgs, Phillips and Connie find Tripwire (John Kassir), one of the last full time UHR activists, and ask for his help. Tripwire is a little too eccentric than anyone is used to, but their options are limited Who else is going to jump back into the cyborg war, which apparently ended worldwide in the very early 2000’s as a public/private partnership. Cyborgs are still around, like the gatling gun cyborg known as Tracker #9 that helps Phillips kill bad guys, but the cyborgs, by and large, are owned and operated by the federal government. It seems like a better fit. So what the hell is going on? Connie didn’t kill the governor, but the assassin sure did look like Connie.
Apparently, Morgan has a scientist on his payroll named Ruben (I have no idea who plays him) who has managed to master the art of making a cyborg assassin look like anyone, and Ruben created a cyborg that looks like Connie. It’s a brilliant scheme as everyone suddenly believes that Connie killed the governor. If Morgan and his henchmen can find the real Connie and kill her, Morgan will be in the clear and have a major business on his hands. And with the Super Tracker (Peter H. Kent), man, no one will be able to stop Morgan’s assassination business.
So while all of that is going on, Swain is trying to figure out what the heck is going on with the Cyber Tracker program. Something is up, but what? Phillips contacts him to find out what he knows, and Swain agrees to meet with Phillips in person and exchange information. It’s at this point that we, along with Phillips and Swain, that Morgan’s criminal scheme has created a cyborg assassin that looks exactly like Phillips, and that Morgan intends to get the public to turn on Phillips, too. So the Phillips assassin kills a bunch of cops and then goes directly after the real Phillips and Swain.
Cyber Tracker 2 is one of those low budget action flicks that has way too much plot stuff going on. There are too many factions, too many robots, and just too much stuff to keep track of. Again, I have no idea what Morgan actually wants beyond a top notch international assassin business that uses cyborgs, and I have no idea what Damien Rhodes wants beyond becoming governor of California. And while it is revealed that part 2 takes place about three years after the events of the first movie, I have a hard time believing that Phillips would still be a government agent and that Connie would be allowed to remain a major TV personality. Why aren’t they in hiding, or doing something else? Phillips seems to be helping a young girl earn her black belt in karate. Why isn’t he operating a martial arts school of some sort? Sure, they both Phillips and Connie helped uncover a massive conspiracy involving elements of the federal government and a private company, but I’m sure those people removed from power have friends still in power. Wouldn’t those people exert some kind of influence and get revenge on behalf of their deposed friends? I think they would.
And where the hell was Swain in the first movie? Why didn’t Phillips go to him for help? And what’s the deal with the Super Tracker? The dude is huge, sure, but he really doesn’t do anything. Why have him in the movie if he isn’t going to decapitate someone or have his arm turn into a missile or something?
Now, what I love about Cyber Tracker 2 is, despite not having a clear idea of what the hell is really going on, the movie doesn’t scrimp on the action. There are multiple martial arts brawls, gun fights, slow motion scenes of various types of ass kicking, and multiple massive explosions. Cars flip wildly, things go boom, and fireballs reign supreme. It is, in short, a thing of beauty. Most low budget action flicks try to make due with one, maybe two explosions. There are at least ten major explosions in Cyber Tracker 2. It’s like a Michael Bay movie before there even was such a thing as a Michael Bay movie.
Don “The Dragon” Wilson is, once again, in top form as Eric Phillips. He’s rocking long hair and a trench coat, but he’s still full of badass integrity and kicks ass when he has to. His scenes with Aggie the home computer are hilarious. It’s too bad that Wilson didn’t get a third chance to play Eric Phillips. I’d love to see another Aggie scene. The parts where Wilson has to play an evil cyborg version of himself are terrifying because, really, how the hell are you going to stop a cyborg Don “The Dragon” Wilson?
Stacie Foster is good as Connie. She’s a little more proactive in this movie, which is weird to say since she was the head of an underground terrorist organization in the first one. People like that always have more than enough to do. I think you’ll dig her cyborg scenes.
John Kassir, the voice of the Crypt Keeper hisself, is funny as Tripwire the UHR guy. His whole “C4 bombs made to look like little animals” is brilliant. It makes you wonder if he’s related to Carl Spengler from Caddyshack. I’d say he isn’t and that he’s just a fan, but, hey, who knows?
Steve Burton is more interesting in this flick as Jared, Connie’s brother and fellow UHR agent There are moments towards the end of the movie where it seems, though, that the producers want to create a spin-off movie featuring his character. How would that have worked? Burton isn’t a martial artist, is he?
Tony Burton isn’t in the movie all that much as Swain, but the scenes we do get with him are pretty good. I was surprised that he didn’t turn out to be one of the main bad guys in the movie. That happens all of the time in these kinds of movies. And Jim Maniaci does a great job, once again, as the Cyber Trackers, both the assassin kind and the gatling gun arm kind. I’d love to see an action figure of the gatling gun version.
And Anthony De Longis is absolutely despicable as Morgan. The way he deals with his own people is reprehensible. Even if he’s paying big money to work for him, good God, why would anyone put up with it? Good job being terrible, though. A great bad guy.
Be on the lookout for Nils Allen Stewart, noted stunt man and bit part actor, as a henchman for the big criminal at the beginning of the movie. And female martial artist Athena Massey shows up as a henchperson towards the middle of the movie, so be on the lookout for that.
Cyber Tracker 2 is a bit of a disappointment story wise, but it makes up for a confusing story with plenty of spectacular action hooey. I am still in awe of the number of major explosions in the movie and flipping cars. How much freaking money did PM spend on this thing? In the end, it’s a great flick. No one makes them like this anymore. No one.
See Cyber Tracker 2. See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: Lots
Explosions: So many that I lost count. It’s amazing.
Doobage: A speedboat, a loud noise, Uzi hooey, laser shotgun hooey, grenade launcher hooey, multiple exploding cars in slow motion, exploding building, gatling gun hooey, a massive explosion with double man on fire gag as guys fall off a pier in slow motion, a regular massive explosion, kung fu hooey, pizza, off screen sex, martial arts training via virtual reality, video game decapitation, an assassination, exploding helicopter, a brutal shotgun centric gun battle, a car chase in a parking garage, a remote control van, exploding van with wild flipping van overhead, creating cybernetic assassins, a guy with a beard, crowbar to the face, exploding henchman, a massive explosion in slow motion, coffee drinking, Hummer stealing, armored car stealing, car chase in the trench where the T-1000 chased John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, a gigantic gun in the back of a truck, more exploding and flipping cars, arm breaking, neck breaking, a cop massacre, a robot fight, desk breaking, arm removal, robotic decapitation, more shotgun hooey, double exploding cars with wild flips, a brutal bit where a cyborg is hit by a tractor trailer, killing a woman for no reason, a gigantic cyborg with hair, more car chases, grenade hooey, another exploding car with a wild flip, a second robot decapitation, timed grenade hooey, a final shootout, lots of guys falling after getting shot, a liquid nitrogen attack, high powered laser hooey, double shot to the gut, glass smashing, a martial arts fight, a very big explosion, and a happy ending.
Kim Richards?: None.
Gratuitous: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Don “The Dragon” Wilson in a speedboat, Don “The Dragon” Wilson with long hair, negotiating, a Robocop homage, Tony Burton, a hologram, a blatant Pizza Hut product placement, pizza, the neighbor’s dog stealing Don “The Dragon” Wilson’s newspaper, scenes taken from the first Cyber Tracker, birds, multiple Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day homages, guy stuck in the back of an armored car, people fucking around with toys, a mega arsenal, Tony Burton as a computer hacker, Don “The Dragon” Wilson as a cyborg, people throwing darts at blocks of C4, the robotic head of Don “The Dragon” Wilson, and a happy ending.
Best lines: “Well, well, Mr. Durn. Right on time, too. I like punctual buyers,” “Please, don’t insult me,” “You little fucker!,” “Give it up Rico. You’re surrounded. Fuck you!,” “Call me Eric,” “Hmm. Cold pizza,” “I like your hair but I hate this undercover crap,” “Eric, would you like me to activate the privacy mode?,” “Agnes! Lock up! Of course! Oh, dear,” “Ruben, is the new kill tracker ready yet?,” “You look like a guy that can handle a gun. I’ve fired one once or twice,” “This is a time fragmentation grenade. Where did you get this?,” “I hate this,” “Come on! We have to protect the armory!,” “Jesus Christ! It’s you, Eric!,” “Eric! What the hell is that? Tracker terminology gone bad!,” “We’re gonna have to jump! Jump! Jump? Jump! Shit!,” “Are you all right? No, my leg,” “We’ve got to go on the offensive!,” “Don’t underestimate me, Rhodes,” “You’re going to kill Rhodes, aren’t you? You have to,” “Give the governor my personal regards,” “That’s a grisly trophy,” “Word of advice about international espionage. Don’t leave a trail,” “Time to disappear,” “Freeze,” “Paris Morgan!,” “Bloody hell!,” “Make sure you take care of that tracker!,” and “Glad to be of service, Captain Phillips. Call me Eric. Eric.”
Rating: 8.0/10.0 (would have been around a 6 without the explosions)
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Things to Watch Out For This Week
–Dog Eat Dog: This action thriller from writer-director Paul Schrader stars Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe and is, by what I’ve read about it, pretty crazy. It received a small theatrical release earlier this year, but you’d think that will Cage and Dafoe and Schrader that the movie could have received a larger theatrical release. I’ll have a DVD review of this flick up on the site soon. I can’t wait to see it.
–Breakdown: This is some sort of low budget action flick about an assassin who has to gain revenge on his employers or something like that. The trailer is okay, and the story, while done a million times, isn’t a drawback. I’m hoping for the best.
–The Call Up: This appears to be a low budget sci-fi deal about people who believe they’re participating in some sort of massive online game that turns out to be “real” or some such. The special effects in the trailer seem to be adequate, and that’s what a movie like this needs. I would like to know why people keep falling for this kind of scheme. Video games should be played at home on your TV or your computer. They shouldn’t be played in real life.
–The Frontier: I don’t know much about this obviously low budget crime flick, but it looks pretty good, and if the fine folks at Kino Lorber are involved in releasing it you just know that the movie has some value to it. Anyone out there see this? Anyone at all, maybe at a film festival or something?
–The Devil’s Dolls: Well, this movie looks pretty messed up. It’s a movie about the hunt for a serial killer, a city in the grip of an ancient curse, and the death of a bunch of people for some reason. There’s also apparently a detective trying to “fix” everything. This is being released by the fine folks at IFC as part of their “Midnight” line. Anyone out there see this in a movie theatre? I think it played a few times at the IFC Center in New York City. I think it did.
Did you know there was a very special Christmas edition of The Gratuitous B-Movie Column this week? No? Well, follow the link below to check it out. I reviewed Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.
Next Issue: Celebrate Ninja New Year with Ninja Busters!
Coming December 2017: Gary Daniels December!
Well, you know, if this column is still around and I’m still alive, but I think that’s a given, right?
B-movies rule. Always remember that.
Happy New Year!
Cyber Tracker 2
Don “The Dragon” Wilson– Eric Phillips
Stacie Foster– Connie
Tony Burton– Swain
Jim Maniaci– Cyber Tracker
Anthony De Longis– Paris Morgan
John Kassir– Tripwire
Steve Burton– Jared
Stephen Rowe– Damien Rhodes
Nils Allen Stewart– Pruitt
Peggy McIntaggart– Agnes 3000
Peter H. Kent– Super Tracker
Directed by Richard Pepin
Screenplay by Richard Preston, Jr.
Distributed by PM Entertainment Group, PM Video, Universal Studios Home Video, and Echo Bridge Entertainment
Rated R for violence and language
Runtime– 91 minutes
Buy it here