Ah, good old Science-Fiction disaster films. A genre that is overcrowded with films about evil robots, a film has to be something special usually to stand out. So when I sat down to watch the Adrian Paul starring Eyeborgs, I’ll admit I was already expecting it to be yet another sub-standard Syfy channel-esque film with nothing to recommend. But what do you know, my pre-conceptions were wrong.
In the near future, after Gulf War 3, the American Government developed the Eyeborgs – robotic camera’s that kept a watchful eye on the populace & could keep the Department of Homeland Security abreast of any dangers to the country.
But after mysterious deaths that seemed to suggest that the Eyeborgs might be dispensing their own justice at the behest of someone else, [Adrian Paul] finds himself in a battle to save the country he serves from this robotic menace.
It has to be said, first & foremost, that there is very little originality on display here. Eyeborgs steals ideas from a lot of other genre films, including Robocop, Runaways, Terminator & a whole host of others. The idea of a robotic law enforcement device that is actually evil is nothing new, but surprisingly stealing (maybe “borrowing” is a kinder term) from these “classics” of the “evil robot genre” has had some kind of osmosis effect, as Eyeborgs is actually really good fun.
The main idea, of a surveillance system that can show you what it wants you to see rather than what actually happened, is actually quite a disturbing one, and the actors all do an admirable job of keeping the film on the right side of cheesy.
There are a few duff performances, with Megan Blake as newsreporter Barbara Hawkins being your typical “plucky & suspicious” type who manages to convince the hero of the truth just in time, but Adrian Paul is a solid lead & carries the action scenes off well, even when he is fist fighting with a CGI’d robotic opponent.
And it’s always nice to see Machete, or Danny Trejo if you want to call him by his proper name, in a film, especially when he gets to take on a group of robots with a baseball bat!
Some of the plot developments do seem to lack a bit of sense at times, as in one scene where some of the Eyeborgs attack Adrian Paul for seemingly no reason, but luckily these are only once or twice & don’t actually effect the overall film too badly.
There is even some comedy thrown in, with some of the actions of the two legged surveillance camera ‘borgs delivering one or two chucklesome moments (and they resemble the alien robots from Batteries Not Included, so are pretty cute – which delivers an interesting twist when they start attacking people!), but thankfully this is played for just the right kind of effect by director Richard Clabaugh.
The only real problem with the film is that the budget didn’t seem to quite extend far enough with regards to the SFX so sometimes the Eyeborgs are a little substandard, and jar a little with the seamless CGI we have all become accustomed to, but thankfully the performance of the actors just about manages to carry these moments & the effects are not so horrible as to ruin the film.
While not original, the fact is that Eyeborgs manages to deliver an enjoyable take on the evil robot genre. There is enough action & violence to sate anyone except the most blood crazed gore hound, and the performance of Adrian Paul in the lead is solid & the questions the film raises about a totalitarian government is not only timely but in some respects quite thought provoking.
A good film by osmosis? Without a doubt, but that doesn’t change the fact that I enjoyed Eyeborgs a lot more than I thought I was going to, which is a recommendation in my book.
It sets up a credible world, gives us a decent lead character & once the film had ended I wanted to know what could happen next. Here’s hoping that one day I might find out.