Even the cyborgs look like total dorks.Inside the strip club, McCord and his world-weary partner Weaver, whose entire personality involves being black and occasionally telling McCord to cool it, sit down and watch as a stripper comes out and does a strip routine that doesn't involve her getting naked. Instead of throwing bottles and rushing the stage at this bullshit, everyone in the strip club cheers and hoots. The stripper eventually comes over and kneels next to McCord, taking a bill out of his mouth and giving him a kiss, before getting up and exiting the stage, still entirely non-naked. Then she comes out and sits down with McCord and we learn that she's his girlfriend, because who wouldn't love to go out with a guy who has a perpetual-motion face? There's some expository dialogue and the girlfriend, who is named "Blue" for some reason, reveals that she's only stripping to "pay her tuition." This is obviously a lie since the only money she got during her strip routine was from McCord, who is already her boyfriend and thus is the one man who doesn't need to pay to see her naked. McCord is too smart to fall for this and says that she enjoys doing it, but he probably just likes sluts.
While McCord and Weaver talk to Blue, a couple of cyborgs in the club go upstairs where a couple of Secret Service agents are guarding a door. Despite the fact that one of the cyborgs is openly brandishing a shotgun, the agents stand there looking at the cyborgs quizzically before being shot point-blank and dying without a fuss. The cyborgs bust through the door and kill what I guess is another senator in bed with a stripper, and lots of fake blood sprays everywhere. Do all strip clubs have upstairs bedrooms? Maybe I just don't go to the right places.
Downstairs everyone screams and McCord and Weaver end up having a firefight with the two cyborgs, which involves standing perfectly still and shooting in each other's direction before the two cyborgs are finally killed. Weaver is hit in the arm, because legal statutes require black sidekicks to always receive non-fatal wounds in buddy cop movies.
Back at the police station the two cyborgs lie on slabs and pretend to be dead while a coroner, who is Indian in a eerie prediction of outsourcing trends, explains to McCord and Weaver that the cyborgs' unique "stand in place and shoot at people" programming is maybe some sort of military technology. With this rock solid information to go on, the cops go to Army HQ, represented in the movie by a random office building, and burst in on some general, demanding to know if the army is using cyborgs to shoot up strip clubs. The general feigns ignorance, and in the middle of his gesticulating, an underling comes in with a stack of folders:
Underling: "HERE IS THE INFORMATION ON THE BLACKHAWK 2000 PROJECT."
General: (gesturing at the cops) "Uh... not now..."
Underling: "OOPS, SORRY, WE WILL TALK ABOUT THE BLACKHAWK PROJECT LATER." (leaves)
McCord then asks what the Blackhawk 2000 project is, and the general says it's classified and shoos them out. Can you guess what the Blackhawk project might be about? Outside the building, McCord and Weaver are chased down by the same underling, who says that he helped make the cyborgs and can tell them what's going on. Instead of just telling them right then, he promises to meet them that night in an alley near Hollywood and Vine. McCord and Weaver go back to the police station and have a talk with their chief, who, again by legal statute, is required to be a total dick. When McCord and Weaver tell him that they are going to talk to an informant who claims to have inside information, the chief orders them not to go for absolutely no reason, and practices his glaring on them for a while.
McCord's girlfriend doing her best impression of a guppy.Since McCord wouldn't be a renegade who plays by his own rules if he followed orders, they go anyway. Just before they arrive, the informant, who is busy turning down the advances of an unending barrage of hookers, is shot and killed some cybernators. McCord and Weaver run into the alley and assume the "stand still on open ground and fire wildly" stance taught in cop school and manage to kill one of the cybernators before Weaver is shot again, this time in the chest, ensuring one of the slow deaths that will only conclude when his partner has time to tend to him and hear his last words. But before McCord can perform that ritual, he has to chase down Cybernator Bob, who is running away. McCord walks down another alley while bathed in bright blue light, occasionally posing with his gun, then suddenly Bob jumps out of the shadows and attacks. The two perform a poorly choreographed fistfight before McCord gets knocked down, and Bob vanishes without killing him for some reason.
McCord gets up and runs back to his dying partner, and they exchange some final words before Weaver dies in his arms. What they said might have been important, but the sound quality was so bad that it was impossible to tell what either of them were saying. Hey, no problem, they're just a man's dying words, probably nothing good anyway.
The scene shifts to Cybernator Bob entering a dark warehouse and standing under a spotlight while a military officer named Colonel Peck, who is wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigarette, starts asking him questions. Bob reports that the informant was killed, along with one of the cops that had been poking around. When the officer asks what happened with the second cop, Bob said "he was like no other human I've ever gone up against" and "fighting him was like fighting another borg." Can you guess the movie is foreshadowing? It's a little subtle, so you might have to think about it for a minute or two. Go ahead, take your time.
Later McCord is back at the police station talking to the chief again, who is justifiably upset, so much so that he's standing on his chair. The two of them have the mother of all clichéd cop / chief conversations, paraphrased here:
McCord: "Something rotten is going down and no one is doing anything about it!"
Chief: "Where do you get off taking matters into your own hands? You're a loose cannon! You can't go above the law!"
McCord: "Yeah, well, I quit!"
Chief: "You can't quit, you'd just be another hotheaded punk with a gun! You wouldn't last two days without that badge to protect you!"
McCord: (face contorts wildly)
Chief: "Tell you what, take a few days off, when you come back we'll get you a new assignment."
McCord: "What do you mean?!"
Chief: "You're off the case, McCord!"
McCord: (face bends local fabric of spacetime)
McCord goes back home and spends some quality time staring at his handgun. After a while Blue comes in and McCord shows his acting chops by pretending to cry, which looks more like he's holding back a sneeze while sticking thumbtacks in his thigh. After Blue pleads for McCord not to take matters into his own hands, McCord picks her up and carries her to the bedroom, where they have a long poorly lit sex scene. The director doesn't even pretend that it's supposed to have some dramatic impact, as 90% of the scene is just the camera zoomed in on Blue's boobs, so that's one of the few highlights of the whole film, I guess.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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