Combining crime drama with sci-fi, this direct-to-video pulls out all the stops for its fanciful climax, but prior to that bears the stamp of a filmmaker ordered to print only first takes.
In the near future, government agent Lugar (Joe Lara) tackles a perilous assignment. Someone has stolen a Peruvian artifact in great demand by the underworld, scientific circles, and worldwide military power structures. Of extra-terrestrial origin, the device, if opened, will turn all human life
into vegetation. The thief is master criminal Torman (Martin Kove). Lugar breaks into Torman's operation via a brain-implanted tracking device that throws Torman's men off guard. Lugar is captured, manhandled, and dumped by the Torman gang and betrayed by his own employers. He gets a crash course
in the outer space bomb's intricacies from quantum physicist Shilow (David Warner).
Caught in the middle of a free-for-all in which Shilow is shot and sent rolling down a hill with the alien contraption, Lugar finishes off Torman and his men and escapes by helicopter from the activated vegetator. Fortuitously, alien spaceships land on Earth in time to stop the greening effect.
Despite an outrageous climax that threatens to turn Earth into a literal garden party, this failed attempt at cross-pollination will satisfy neither crime nor sci-fi buffs. Actors sleepwalk or even crawl through their roles. Even when overlooking this thespian stupor, viewers are stuck with a
taffy-pull of sticky plot resolutions, gummy dialogue, and rubbery direction. Slowly played scenes seem to be stretched beyond normal running times. Admittedly the slam-bang end-of-the-world conclusion with oceans and land masses overcome by plant life is nifty. With part of our planet saved, this
"Miracle Grow" flick grinds to a halt on an upbeat image of a world with lots less people and lots more parks. (Extreme profanity, extensive nudity, graphic violence, adult situations, substance abuse.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: NR
- Review: Combining crime drama with sci-fi, this direct-to-video pulls out all the stops for its fanciful climax, but prior to that bears the stamp of a filmmaker ordered to print only first takes. In the near future, government agent Lugar (Joe Lara) tackles a pe… (more)