"Cyborg Soldier" & "Kill Switch" DVD Reviews

October 23, 2008 by Zach Demeter

Arriving from First Look Studios is Cyborg Soldier and Kill Switch, the newest action films to arrive on the DVD format, both filled to the brim with plenty of fights, action and exploding cars. With Kill Switch, writer and star Steven Seagal once again takes on the role of action hero as he attempts to take down a violent killer. In Cyborg Soldier, UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin stars as the first “prototype” of a confidential human weapons program. The prototype soldier goes on the run in an attempt to answer the questions about his origin and who (and what) he really is. The duo of films arrives on separate discs, but release alongside each other on October 7th.

In Kill Switch, Detective Jacob King (Steven Seagal) is one of the most celebrated homicide detectives in the country. His brutal delivery of street justice is legendary among the men and women of law enforcement. But on this latest case, he may have finally met his match - Lazerus, a cunning and perversely violent killer who is on the loose and terrorizing the inner city. King’s desperate pursuit of Lazerus takes him into the dark, depraved Memphis underworld of street sex and senseless violence.

In Cyborg Soldier, I.S.A.A.C. (Intuitive Synthetic Autonomous Assault Commando), played by former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, is the first prototype of a confidential “human weapons” program that genetically reconstructs humans to become deadly assassins. Searching for freedom and the truth about his military group, I.S.A.A.C. is on the run, taking Deputy Lindsay Rearden (Tiffani Thiessen, “Beverly Hills, 90210”) as a hostage. Their lives collide as they try to expose the secrets and lies of the corrupt organization.

Word can’t really describe what went through my head as I opened the packaging containing these two titles. Was I really sent these two films, one of which was named Cyborg Soldier? Worst of all, did they actually make these movies to begin with? And how did they manage to spell “assassin” wrong on the back of Cyborg Soldier’s box? All of these questions swam through my head and I became dizzy at the thought of watching the films, but I persevered on. I put them in my DVD player and hoped, prayed and got on my knees for the best. I was instead slapped in the face as I knew I would be.

To get the obvious out of the way, Kill Switch is a Steven Seagal movie. There doesn’t really need to be much more explanation than that, although reading about it appears that this is a “deviation” from his previous ventures, so…yay? Well not really, because this film apparently focuses more on characters and plot, which is the equivalent of a comedy show suddenly focusing on drama. You simply don’t change gears like that, especially when your fan base is already limited enough. Regardless, the film does have a fair bit of action in it, but after immediately being told that Seagal’s character is a cop who has solved more cases than anyone in U.S. history, you begin to wonder just what the purpose of the film is. It’s beyond cheese, it’s just…it’s horrible. It’s horrible and thinking about it makes me tear up because I have to relive what makes the phrase “direct-to-video” sound bad. As stated there is plenty of action, but…seriously, I can’t take this film seriously. I guess I’m not supposed to, but even as a comedic piece I find it killing my brain cells. The repeated random incidents involving Seagal’s character (or, rather, his stunt double) beating up on people for no real reason just made me wish for the credits. However it did have the late and great Isaac Hayes in it; although he played a coroner which is kind of screwed up.

So let’s skip into Cyborg Soldier then, shall we? Maybe we shouldn’t. I knew this one was going to be horrible going in, but…holy mother of God. From the start it’s a giant cliché that keeps on walking throughout the entire film. I’ve seen some horrible films in my short time on this planet, but this takes the cake. I don’t mind an intentionally “bad” movie, but when it’s just plain bad, boring, stupid and uninteresting, it makes me wish I had spent my time on something else. Even its short run time of eighty-four minutes seemed too long for this film, which does little but string together sequences seemingly inspired from other (and better) action films. Granted, the leads weren’t entirely terrible, although Tiffani Thiessen is a far cry from her former self, both in acting and in appearance. Sadly this is the type of film where actors go to die. At this point, I’d think Thiessen would just give up acting. Surely you can’t enjoy doing it so much as to want to be in something like that. At least change careers or…do something else.

I don’t often combine film reviews, let alone two films that have little to do with each other (aside from being mindless, stupid action flicks) , but I had to make an exception in this case. There is simply nothing to talk about when it comes to these films unless you’re a fan of the lead stars, in which case it doesn’t matter what the films about as you’d go see it anyway. In my case I don’t care for either actors and the same applies to these films. If you happen to see these on a shelf, just…walk on by. Please. Just Skip It.

The DVD
For two different films, the presentations are remarkably similar. Both arrive in standard DVD amaray cases, have poor looking jackets (the aforementioned spelling error should prove enough how much effort was put into these) and poorly put together menus. Transfers for both film arrive in interlaced (per the First Look Studio standard) and both serve up 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround mixes that fail to impress, as well as English SDH and Spanish subtitles. Previews are included as well and, thankfully, there are zero extras on both releases to check out.

With ridiculous pricing (Kill Switch is currently priced at $25.99 on Amazon—a bargain!), these releases should really have never existed. If there was ever a time for digital distribution only, these two films deserve it more than anything else. I admire First Look Studious for putting out lesser known titles on DVD, but when it involves these types of movies…I’d rather they just didn’t.

Kill Switch and Cyborg Soldier are now available on DVD.

 

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