First off, this trite virtual-reality thriller has absolutely nothing to do with the clever little Stephen King story except the title. Second of all, in real life, virtual reality and intelligence enhancement are two completely separate scientific endeavors. Perhaps back in 1992, when Lawnmower Man's chunky 3D graphics seemed cutting-edge rather than just played-out, it seemed as if anybody who plugged into the Internet would instantly become brilliant because computers were just so darn nifty. In the cold light of the new millennium, however, everyone knows that jacking into cyberspace just makes people move to Silicon Valley, work hard for worthless stock options, and eventually get laid off. Like Johnny Mnemonic, The Net, Hackers, and Virtuosity (the latter helmed by this film's director, Brett Leonard), Lawnmower Man mistakes pop culture technology trends for substance, rendering itself obsolete almost from the moment of release. It doesn't help that the story that's been saddled with all this once-futuristic flash is nothing but a dumbed-down version of Charly. Jeff Fahey is no Cliff Robertson, though, and as for Pierce Brosnan, he seems ashamed of the lengths to which he must go to support himself while waiting for the James Bond producers to hire him. By the release of 1996's even worse Lawnmower Man 2, they had, sparing Brosnan, if not the audience, a return trip to cyberspace.
by Brian J. Dillard review