LIVE WIRE 2: HUMAN TIMEBOMB
Human Timebomb appears to have been made to capitalise on the success of Roland Emmerichs Universal Soldier (1992), which came out two years earlier and featured the theme of mind-controlled soldiers. However, even as B-budget action films go, Human Timebomb is on the mindless side. It seems constructed solely for the purpose of showing off lots of explosions, martial arts battles and vehicular chases. Certainly some of the fight scenes manage to be quite ferocious and the film has a massive body count but it is all meaninglessly spectacular in a B-budget way. Quite often some of the action scenes have nothing to do with the main drama of what is going on a simple chase across an airfield for no particular reason has lots of explosions and vehicle stunts happening all over the place in the background.
Hero Bryan Genesse, a regular actor in Nu Images films, has a shrill voice and an attitude of self-righteous superiority that grates. What takes Human Timebomb from being merely mindless to the obnoxious is its often contemptuous attitude some of Bryan Genesses comments regarding the Cubans are quite racist, which is something that the film seems to unquestioningly support. In the role of the American mercenary, Joe Lara is much better than Genesse, this type of dark villainous role suiting him far more so than the muscular hero roles he has usually been cast in.
In some versions of its release, Human Timebomb was retitled Live Wire 2: The Human Timebomb, posing as a sequel to Live Wire (1992). Live Wire concerned terrorists who were able to turn people into human bombs as opposed to programmed soldiers and, other than a more accurate (and indeed literal) usage of the phrase Human Timebomb, the two films have no connection in any way.
Mark Roper is a South African born director who has specialised in action films, starting with Orions Key/Project Shadowchaser 4/Alien Chaser (1996). He has made several other films for Nu Image, including Warhead (1996), City of Fear (2001), Marines (2003), their Nature Unleashed films and a couple of the Operation Delta Force sequels.