The market for ultra-low budget, but professionally produced action and Sci-Fi movies has practically disappeared along with the physical video stores that had them on their shelves in large numbers. There’s no particular reason to be sad about this, and if there was it would still be a first world problem. But at the same time this means we may never get movies with such a goofy charm as Hologram Man again, which showed the low-tier action flick forge PM Entertainment at their creative peak.
In the near future, terrorist Slash Gallagher is on a rampage against the government and big corporations that control all aspects of public life. He gets caught by police investigator Kurt Decoda, and his mind is incarcerated into a hologram. Gallagher gets hacked out of his virtual prison, and acquires superpowers in the process. The only person who can stop him now is Decoda.
Hologram Man starts with the ludicrous premise that human minds can be stored in holograms, and be reprogrammed over the course of time. The movie rips its plot from better genre companions like Virtuosity and the Lawnmower Man, including a couple of hopelessly cheap VR sequences. We also get a semi-futuristic world setting with weird-looking cars and laser pistols, and the tech-talk in the movie is so far out, it even surpasses Star Trek’s craziest outbursts in that area.
But none of this is a problem, there’s not really any embarrassing scenes and the movie moves at a good pace. In any case, the trademark of PM movies are the action scenes, especially those involving cars and other things that can go boom. And there’s plenty of them with some fairly impressive set pieces with explosions and vehicles wreaking havoc every five minutes. If nothing explodes, there’s always a shootout or fist fight around the corner to prevent boredom.
In addition to the pretty good action scenes, Hologram Man also distinguishes itself from most other PM productions by the comical approach to its characters, which is already reflected in the names of the main protagonists Slash Gallagher and Kurt Decoda. The bad guys all look like taken from a kids spy novel, but especially Evan Lurie’s performance as Slash Gallagher is worth remembering, and that’s not only because of his beautiful braids. He goes all in with crazy overacting, and seems to have a great time being evil. The good guy role is filled by Joe Lara, who starred in several 1990s DTV action movies. While he is not a particularly good actor, and never played even remotely interesting characters, he still made his roles work by virtue of his looks and physical presence, also in Hologram Man.
Hologram Man is one of the best entries in the long list of PM productions. If you are easily entertained by low-cost relentless action, I can highly recommend it!