Beamer wrote on Jun 10, 2019, 10:15:
Kxmode wrote on Jun 10, 2019, 09:53:
3. William Gibson wrote Johnny Mnemonic's screenplay based on a short story by Gibson of the same name. It was, as far as I know, the first, big budget film entirely devoted to the cyberpunk genre.
Terminator, which you're saying no to, likely counts, as movies are multiple genres.
Videodrone, RoboCop, Tron, Blade Runner, and Lawnmower Man all have arguments.
Terminator is not cyberpunk proper. It doesn't have any elements of cyberpunk. It does have the technology and AI, but it is more in the tech-noir genre. At least the first two films where. Today, the series it's mostly in the post-apocalyptic / tech-action genre. It has never explicitly been a cyberpunk film.
Lawnmower Man (one of Stephen King's rarest stories that I like a lot) is probably the closest to cyberpunk of your list, but again, it's not cyberpunk proper. A film must follow the rules established to gain the classification as a cyberpunk film. Cyberpunk is about people living in a society where technology, AI, body modifications all intersect. Where living underground is a way of life, it's where jacking into a virtual environment to damage, sabotage, and steal information of value is commonplace. It's about tapping into the underworld of seedy Operatives, and Fixers who mingle with the dregs of society for their profit. It's about mega-corporations who have so much power that they act as governments hell-bent on controlling nations for profit (not to mention armies to enforce their will... or provide services for a profit). It's about pushing technology to the limit of human imagination and people willing to kill to obtain it for a price. Lawnmower Man couldn't be cyberpunk because the story was about a young man who transformed into a digital being through VR technology. If set in a cyberpunk-themed environment then definitely it would be that kind of film.
Robocop is about the evolution of technology in an apocalyptic society. It doesn't have elements of cyberpunk so that I wouldn't call it a cyberpunk film.
Tron is about programs emulating human behavior in a grid mainframe. It has the element of jacking; only it doesn't. Flynn didn't jack into the world of MCP. He was kidnapped against his will by an innovative technology behind him. Tron: Legacy is closer to Cyberpunk with Flynn jacking into the Grid; but the story really was closer to the original Tron of programs emulating human behavior.
Blade Runner isn't a cyberpunk film either. Based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" the story explores android sentience. The title of the novel alludes to that since only humans can dream. The film is a noir. Neither the film nor the source material is cyberpunk in nature.
Cyberpunk is a very defined genre, and it's straightforward to spot cyberpunk films based on the established themes of the style. Johnny Mnemonic, The Matrix, Strange Days, Existenz, and Ghost in the Shell are a few films that are proper cyberpunk. It is most definitely not a catch-all genre for every movie with robots and technology.This comment was edited on Jun 10, 2019, 12:38.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf