8 Man After
8 Man After is the sequel to the first 8 Man series, which I have not seen.
A new breed of cybernetic gangsters are starting to populate the streets of the big city (Tokyo, I presume), with cannons, gatling guns, and rocket launchers implanted in their arms, torsos, and various other sundry places. These junkies are dependent on a type of narcotic to keep them from becoming raging psychopaths (which they do anyway).
When a private eye investigates the disappearance of a scientist responsible for the cybernetic phenomenon, he gets brutally attacked by the opposition. The only way to save him is to implant him with cybernetic parts to make him into the new 8 Man (the first had lost control and had run off into the wilderness somewhere in self-exile), a super crime-fighting cyborg with the power to defeat his adversaries by running past them really really quickly. Complications, of course, show up as the new 8 Man struggles with his identity while trying to retain self-control and fight crime at the same time.
Well... maybe the flick might mean more to someone who's actually seen the original 8 Man series. As a stand-alone, it's pretty sub-standard. It starts out promising enough, with a few characters I can kind of tolerate, but quickly degenerates into another "Who am I? Where am I going? And why is my skin all metal all of a sudden" type of story. Which wouldn't be bad all by itself if it was done convincingly. Unfortunately, it's not.
The characters are all pretty much flat and unbelievable (except for the kid, who I could tolerate more than most), and I found myself not really caring what happened to any of them. Animation is decent enough so that I didn't notice any glaring inconsistencies except for the incredibly irritating stock-footage they used to show the 8 Man running really quickly to defeat his foes. I hate stock footage on general principle, and uninteresting stock footage is even worse. Soundtrack was adequate, and dubbing was as good as I could expect in a flick like this.
All in all, a bitter disappointment. The plot fails to build to any sort of climax, and the ending is more of a relief than a resolution. If you want android/mecha sci-fi, turn elsewhere.
Recommended Audience: I saw the Sci-Fi Channel mangling of this one, so doubtless that there were scenes that were cut out. The box at the rental place I frequent says that it contains "graphic scenes of violence and sexuality," so I would guess that younger audiences probably shouldn't see this one.
Version(s) Viewed: Television edit, English dub
Review Status: Full (3/3)
8 Man After © 1993 Furuhara Sumiyasu / Sanctuary / JC Staff
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