Thursday, October 11, 2012

Scanner Cop Out: "Scanner Cop" (1994)

The producers of the "Scanners" series decided to take this in a whole new direction.

This time out, we meet a young scanner whose birth father goes insane. He is adopted by an understanding cop. Years later, his adopted dad is police commander and Staziak is a rookie cop. He is on drugs to keep his scanning under control, but helps out his dad after a bunch of cops are shot by usually normal people. It seems perennial villain Richard Lynch is programming people to kill cops as revenge for his being shot by the commander.

The whole plot is just fine and dandy, but this film feels like one of those syndicated TV action shows like "VIP" or "Silk Stalkings." Better action has been witnessed on "T.J. Hooker." It seems all the budget was spent on the special effects by John Carl Buechler, which are fine except for a hilarious finale involving a defibrillator. The film makers also do not remember their own mythology, as we see the scanner cop chase someone in an elevator by taking the next elevator that comes along. As we know, and the film shows us, scanners can "control" machines, so why doesn't he just scan and tell the elevator with the criminal in it to stop? In the finale, as the scanner cop is running all over a hospital looking for his injured dad, he scans everyone he comes in contact with. The facial contortions and scanning take longer than just using his mouth and asking where his father is. I had the same reaction to this that I did with "Scanners" I and II. Fine, I have now seen them, time to go outside.

This is average in the purest sense of the word, and I wish the film makers had taken more chances with this by-the-numbers production. I cannot recommend "Scanner Cop." (* * *) out of five stars.

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