Maybe it is my own fault for not updating enough. Maybe it’s being distracted by other more mainstream movies. Maybe it is something as simple as fear. Whatever it is it is kind of astounding that I haven’t covered a movie from The Asylum yet. Yes the Asylum; the studio known mostly for Syfy Movies, their “mockbusters” and various legal battles concerning their movie titles. A studio that’s biggest hit was the ridiculous creature feature Sharknado. This seems perfect for a blog that mostly covers genre movies and yet they have remained untouched. This all changes today with my review of Android Cop.
The year is 2047 and a part of Los Angeles is sectioned off as The Zone. Crime and an unknown disease ravage the denizens of this once great region. When the mayor’s daughter is lost within The Zone it is up to it Spawn (Michael Jai White) and a guy in an overly big laser tag suit to save her. Hopefully they escape The Zone without every gang after the two.
Naturally I wasn’t expecting anything good. Like at all. I mean I love Robocop and The Warriors but they just don’t jell together in my opinion. Imagine my surprise when I started to actually have fun with it. Don’t get me wrong the acting was over-the-top and the effects were bad but it was fun bad. In the first ten minutes they throw out a decent amount of ridiculous to make you forget that the first action scene is 80% in slow motion. Michael Jai White plays his “Charismatic Direct to Video action star” role to perfection. He’s probably the best actor of the bunch as well. The supporting cast is generic but serviceable when it comes to playing their roles. Unfortunately we then have to meet Android Cop.
Now I’m sure Randy Wayne is a nice enough guy. It looks like he has a decent enough career so he’s obviously doing something right. This is just awful casting. Let’s ignore the fact that his uniform looks like the scraps from Starship Trooper painted black. He’s just too small. I don’t think not wanting my Robocop knockoff to be dwarfed by his partner is too much to ask. His costume is also comically big on him.
Well he can at least kick ass, right? Does “for a few minutes” count? This leads me to the worst thing about the movie. The first half or so is a bunch of “robots are so wacky” jokes. It’s funny (well as funny as you’d expect from an Asylum flick) the first time but after the 30th time you call your hero a soda machine it becomes painful. When there is action it is either in slow motion or consists of going through a window. I can accept awful explosion effects but under using good action stars? That is unforgivable.
About halfway through we finally get into the kidnapping plot the movie decides to go for broke. Members of the police turn on Spawn and his robotic buddy and they send the gangs from The Zone after them. Out come the leftovers from Asylum movies like Death Racers and we go from a buddy cop knock off to a rip off of The Warriors with a quarter of the budget. Turns out bootleg Warriors is actually kind of fun. I mean it’s still bad but it hits that sweet spot I was hoping for. There’s even a swerve near the end that actually caught me by surprise. Bravo Asylum, you kind of pulled off a movie.
The Asylum seems to try and go for one of two kinds of movies. They will try to either be better than they have any right to be or so bad that they’re good. Otherwise their movies tend to be plodding messes that don’t deliver. Unfortunately I have to place Android Cop in the plodding category. Despite some solid performances and the movie improving towards the end I can’t recommend it as a whole. For every decent fight or gun toting granny there are 3 awful jokes and it just wears you down. If this is on TV and it’s the last 20 minutes then I say give it a shot. Otherwise this droid is defective.
God that pun hurt me.