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Hardwired
DVD disk
Nov 18, 2009 By: Aaron the H
Hardwired order download
Director:
Ernie Barbarash

Actors:
Cuba Gooding Jr
Michael Ironside
Val Kilmer

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In the near future, an evil corporation is imprinting microchips in peoples skulls, apparently so that they can start advertising in peoples heads? I donít know. Iím confused.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
When I was just a young lad of 18, I worked on my first movie set. It was an awful, cheesy sci-fi actioner starring has-been rap stars Coolio and Tone Loc, and that dude who played Highlander on TV. The production values sucked, we shot the whole thing in 17 days, and well yeah, you get the idea. How sad it makes me now to see former Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. and former Tombstone badass Val Kilmer starring in such fodder (they even shot this in 17 days as well).

Iím not going to rehash the story, mostly because itís so preposterous youíd think Iím joking, but lets just say the opening credits show a Mastercard logo on Mt. Rushmore, a Pepsi sign on the moon, and an Aquafina ad on the side of an African antelope (Iím serious).

Poor Cuba Gooding Jr. leads the cast of Hardwired, looking old, tired and genuinely sad- and I donít think that was just him getting into his character. Val Kilmer I donít feel as sorry for, mainly cuz you can just tell he doesnít give a damn- he's here for the paycheck. The vast majority of his scenes feature him standing in front of a green-screen, shown on a TV screen, so something tells me he was on set for 2 days, max. I will say he coulda brushed his hair though- dude looks like a drunken version of the Cowardly Lion (who always seemed drunk to me already).

The action is sparse and pretty unimpressive. A few gunshots, car wrecks and some roundhouse kicks from Cuba are all we get. The twists are not really twists at all cuz you can see them coming from the opening scene, and the production values arenít fooling anybody here. I will say the special FX arenít half-bad for a film with this kind of budget.

Thereís just no real emotion in this hap-hazard film (kinda like in this review). Val does nothing to try and make a threatening bad guy, and since Cubaís character has amnesia, thereís no emotion necessary to grieve for his past (wonder whose idea that was). Hey, at least Michael Ironside is in this thing. Heís exactly the kind of guy that should be doing this kind of movie. He keeps it fun and never takes himself too seriously, and thatís something these straight-to-DVD movies should never, EVER do- try to masquerade themselves as quality cinema.
THE EXTRAS
Connecting the Circuits (16:43): A ďbehind the scenesĒ featurette where interviews seem to be recorded using the onboard camera mic (ie it sounds like crap). There is pretty much no reason to watch this, other than Michael Ironside being awesome. Val Kilmer unsurprisingly goes nowhere near this thing, and poor CGJ does his best to convince us he believes in the film. Itís the best acting on the whole DVD.

There are also a handful of previews for similarly awful films.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The problem with direct-to-DVD movies is, you know they're going to be bad or they woulda been released to theaters. The problem with putting quality actors like these in the film is that you know it's not going to be bad enough to laugh at. Hence, there's not much I can recommend about Hardwired. Unless you want to see a guy's head explode. And I'm not talkin' about Kilmer's.
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