Cyberjack (1995)

Nobody dies harder than the Dude! In the far flung future where such futuristic things as bad computer generated effects, cybernetic implants, and a professional baseball team named the Neptunes constantly breaks the Dude’s heart (and his face since he keeps betting on them and his bookie has run out of patience!) are a frighteningly reality, an even scarier reality awaits our future selves!

No, it’s not that the Dude uses duplicators to make it look like multiple Dudes are running everywhere in the building taken over by terrorists – that’s not even science fiction, it’s science awesome! What’s causing us to piss all over our flying transport bus seats is the emergence of the Cyberjack!

Who or what is the Cyberjack? Is it an all powerful computerized collective that threatens to enslave the very humans that built it? Is it some form of tech disease that causes humans to become elctro-zombies who seek to suck our brainwaves right out of our freaking nose? Or is it a super-criminal whose been digitized to terrorize? Who the hell knows? Other than the title, no one ever uttered the word, regardless of how super cool it was!

One thing was for sure though, Michael “The Dude” Dudikoff wasn’t about let himself get all cyberjacked up no matter how the odds were stacked against him! After getting his partner killed by giving up his gun in an effort to save her from the vile Nassim, he quits being a cop, starts a life of drinking and gambling, lives in an Airstream trailer, and becomes a janitor at the local giant tech company.

And in something straight out of Greek myth, the Dude finds himself inadvertently thrust into a situation that causes him to play the reluctant hero! And all because he was hiding from his pissed off bookie in the tech company’s building watching a lifelike hologram of a belly dancer who has no problem going virtually topless!

But while the Dude is soothing his shattered soul by making memories with mammaries, terrorists have gone and taken over the rest of the building! And they’re after the most dangerous doodad of all time – the world’s first biologically augmented computer virus! When it’s downloaded into its host, assuming the host survives the merging, it becomes pretty much a god, capable of doing all sorts of crazy crap! Imagine one entity taking control of the entire computer grid, able to change your television channel at will to programs you don’t like, open garage doors at random, and erase all your stats from XBox Live! Truly, the world would tremble before such a terrible being!

Thankfully though the Dude has plenty of motivation to pull the plug on this pud! Despite being a burn out, the Dude is of course still a man’s man (as evidenced by his interest in the belly dancer) and is pressed into service when the sexy scientist at this company pleads for his help while she’s in a bathroom stall and he’s hiding in the ventilation system right next to her! But while the prospect of some real life belly dancing may be enough to get you going, what really makes a great action movie climax is when it’s personal!

Remember in that other movie about one cop against a skyscraper full of terrorists where John McClane went up against Hans Gruber and Hans figured out that McClane’s whiny, middle-aged wife (who wasn’t even living with McClane then!) was in the building and took her hostage? That was kind of personal I guess, but only at the end and just by happenstance.

Cyberjack proves its superiority in that area because while the bad guy also takes the Dude’s hottie hostage, he also just happens to be the very same Naseem that killed the Dude’s partner and then tried to kill the Dude all those years ago! How many sequels did Die Hard have in a lame attempt to get the formula correct? You know why there was never a Cyberjack 2? Because Cyberjack got everything right on the first try!

Cyberjack is like two or three Die Hards rolled into one, with a generous helping of nonsensical science fiction moments tossed on top like bacon bits spread all over a sumptuous action movie salad! For instance, it isn’t just the terrorists that the Dude is battling. He’s also got the killer cop robot C.Y.C.L.O.P.S. on his ass shooting lasers at him, trapping him in an elevator and still going after him! Then there’s Naseem’s super computer power that allows him to make all the cybernetically linked SWAT guys turn on each other! Even after he chases Naseem down for one last chance at victory and redemption, he and his scientist gal pal still have to defeat the computer virus! All John McClane had to do was shoot some Eurotrash out of a skyscraper!

The Dude delivers the appropriate wincing whenever he’s wounded as well as various facial expressions depending on the circumstances, including a little comic relief (he complains about losing his radio during the mammoth elevator explosion that destroys the cop’s killbot because he was listening to the ballgame on it!), and has no problems beating up and killing people in a variety of ways. (There’s a particularly spectacular scene of the Dude setting a guy on fire and this guy rolls around and screams forever!)

Brion James (Bladerunner) is frankly annoying with a cartoonish white fright wig that matches his cartoonish villain, complete with evil cackle and bombastic pronouncements about how he’ll be so powerful he might not even take God’s phone calls! But even that works in Cyberjack‘s favor because it makes you want the Dude to put a dime-sized hole in his forehead even more!

Snobs may call it a cheap Die Hard clone marked by bad effects, primitive to absent acting, and technobabble that’s pure gibberish (a computer virus that lives inside a human and allows the human to control all computers and networks on Earth? Half the time I can’t even get my iPad to log onto my wifi and I know the damn password!), but the sort of people who watch mid 1990s movies starring Michael Dudikoff know it for what it truly is – an upgrade! Die Hard 2.0 now with a brand new ass kicking Dude ’95 operating system!

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