Project: Human Weapon
(2000 / USA)
Now this is fun, and it doesn’t even involve an underwater facility! Evan Mink (Judge Reinhold…more on that later!) is a commando who screws up his mission. This leads all to all of his men dying. Thankfully they do so in a way that entertains the audience, as Mink escapes via balloon extraction from a CGI plane. Gunfights ensue and the uber-cliché of burnt out commando to be seen later is now firmly in place, thank you. Cut to one of the many Bulgarian secret super science places that we just know exists … thanks to the world of B-movies. In this particular facility, it’s time for the final test, and a showdown between two telepaths is underway. Professor X of the X-Men times two ! Well, maybe divided by six and then times two, but it’s a cool battle, loaded with effective CGI wibble wobbles and flying barrels.
Jerry, the nice telepath who hates to kill, wins the battle! His complacency could be a problem for his ruthless handlers … but it’s not an issue … because suddenly the complex is attacked by (say it with me) The Russians. Yeah, those wacky Russians. So now Jerry is on the run and everyone wants him to either harness, control or poke and prod. He has NEVER been outside of the complex, so it’s Stranger in a Strange Land. However, he does have visions of a sister he was taken from before entering this mysterious program (against his will), and she has been making her way by using those TK abilities to cheat at gambling. They send in the aforementioned burnt out commando, Mink, to do some tracking and retrieval.
Well, it gets more complicated, but just watch it … because amidst all this plotting (oh, did I mention that Jerry does some very Jesus Christ-esque stuff ?), there is some cool CGI, one whopper of a helicopter crash (CGI of course), and a great little dogfight sequence. Fast paced fun all around. And there is lots of that studio UFO “reacting to things that aren’t there” for the actors of course ! Truly a great shot of running from a CGI explosion follow.
Project: Human Weapon has all the hallmarks of a television pilot, and one that was made in the Eighties at that. This works to it’s advantage however. The reliable CGI artists and a fast paced story come through fine, and somehow manage to overcome two very bad things. Now, I like Judge Reinhold, but the introduction of his character has him making hand signals, and dressed in camouflage in full action man regalia. No ! Sorry, I just can’t buy it. He does a passable job throughout, but there seems to be some non-character self-loathing issues for poor Judge as he wanders about and plays his character like a passive aggressive manic depressive off his meds. To be fair though, he doesn’t really take up that much (memorable) screen time. Which leads us to problem two ! Aside from a few Americans, including the seemingly reliable to studio UFO William Zabka (Johnny from Karate Kid !) the cast is Bulgarian. Are the women attractive in that special Euro way ? … yep ! Can you understand them when they speak ? NOPE ! Remember those CGI helicopters and planes that go BOOOOOM ? Keep ‘em in mind while you try to decipher what is being said. One hilarious line has the rather cute heroine speaking to Zabka, and he just looks at her and yells “WHAT ?” He was supposed to be shocked and in character, but it’s rare that an actor can break down the wall and speak for me so clearly. Art.
Don’t let these nits pick at you though, I really enjoyed this film … hey, I’d like to see a sequel. Those Jesus powers could make for one fun flick !
Movie Rating: FUN
Review David Zuzelo / Source Region 1 NTSC DVD
Mindstorm aka Project: Human Weapon (2000)
Director Mitchell Cox
With Judge Reinhold, Victor Browne,William Zabka, Rositza Chorbadjiska, Jochen Nickel & Stela Prokopieva
‘‘The power is all in his mind’’