The year is 2020. He's mostly human and totally invincible. Until now...
I saw this a couple of days ago in one of the local-ish video stores that I insisted with a mate that we just had to go in to. They were flogging off all their VHS for cheap and I got a few more beauties for the collection, one of them being this Billy Blanks, Bolo Yeung, Jalal Merhi, Bobbie Phillips and Matthias Hues sci-fi action movie, TC 2000. For a moment when I saw the cover and Jalal Merhi and Matthias Hue's inclusion I thought TC 2000 was just a localised pseudonym for Talons of the Eagle. But with neither of those having Bolo Yeung I knew I was getting an action movie I did not already own. And with this stellar line up how could this be anything but awesome?
It's the near future and like any good B-grade sci-fi future, it's a dystopian one. The rich live beneath the surface of the planet because of all the pollution that has ruined the atmosphere. The poor are exiled to fend for themselves in an Escape from New York way of life on the surface. We never see any actual evidence of this pollution but we do see the usual gangs dressed as punks and old women wrapped in grey blankets by barrels on fire. Billy Blanks plays the awesomely named Jason Storm and lives to protect the rich people as a "tracker"; basically a special security force that keep the riff-raff away from the snotty rich folk. His partner is Zoey, played by Bobbie Phillips (who is a very attractive actress whose also been in Back in Action with Blanks, and three TV sci-fi movies called Chameleon).
Blanks and Zoey are called to a routine mission to stop some surface scum infiltrating the underworld. During the recognisance Blanks sees that they have a piece of Tracker hardware that allows them access to the base freely. Then there's a pretty good shoot-out here and Zoey, when looking in the wrong direction, is shot by the rebel leader Niki Picasso (Jalal Merhi, whose having a whale of a time in this role, complete with Che Guevara hat). Blanks has a pretty hilarious "you're not gonna die on me now" blub as he holds her in his arms and even pulls out a "Nnnnooooooooo!".
After the funeral he runs into his boss and tells him he's quitting being a Tracker now that his partner is dead (who unbeknownst to him, is being resurrected as a cyborg - in a slutty outfit!). His boss gets pissed at this and demands Blanks has his tracker implants removed. Next thing Blanks knows, he wakes up at home and is being attacked by thugs and his place is being trashed. He throws a couple of TV's at them (seriously) then flees. Blanks must now survive on the surface world, and he forms an alliance with Bolo Yeung to get revenge on Picasso for killing his partner. He learns from Bolo about the weapons plant that will soon drop a bomb on the planet and wipe out all life so that the underworld can reclaim the surface, so he decides to kill two birds with one fist-sized stone.
My colleague in bad cinema Ty at Comeuppance Reviews did not think much of this movie. I will have to politely disagree with my learned friend in this case as I thought that this was a ripping example of bad sci-fi action. It had everything in it that you need (with the possible exception of boobs); martial arts, firearms, bad sets, worse effects, technobabble, Billy Blanks flat-top, Billy Blanks facial expressions, Bolo Yeung's in-proportionate physique, a smoking hot blonde cyborg in a slutty outfit and a countdown clock that is stopped two seconds before the world is destroyed. Sure a lot of the movie doesn't make real sense but as we've discussed many, many times before, if the action quotient is high enough you forget about the inconsistencies in the plot.
That's definitely where TC 2000 excels - the action! It basically doesn't stop for a breather, or if it does it's only for a few minutes. There's the initial operation with Blanks, then he has a fight with Mathias Hues, then there's the killing of his partner, a street fight between Bolo Yeung and some randoms, fights with the rebels (actually they are called Lifers), and a big showdown with everyone beating on everyone else... AND we even get not one, not two but THREE training montages! All the main five players in the movie put on a good martial arts show and I was especially impressed with Bobbie Phillips high-kicks.
There is one downside to TC 2000 and that is Matthias Hues; he's not in it enough. We see him get his arse handed to him in a sparring match with Blanks early on in the movie and it's revealed that the two aren't on the best of terms. He really only pops up a few times briefly before the final bout at the end of the movie. Such a shame as you can never have too much Hues.
This movie comes highly recommended to fans of movies like American Cyborg: Steel Warrior and Timecop. Great stuff!
Really good quality print on this VHS, in full-screen of course. IMDB says the movie should be 1.85:1 but I don't think any home versions exist in that ratio. Runtime 91 minutes.
Once again I'm too lazy to encode the video to get some screenshots so these are photos I found on Google Images. Cheers to those that originally took them.
Ex-rental CIC VHS for $2.