Everyone has to start somewhere, even Angelina Jolie. She may well have made her debut as a child starring alongside her father, the acclaimed actor John Voight, in 1982’s Lookin’ to Get Out, but a decade later, when she decided to make the profession her adult livelihood, she had to go down the classic B-movie route to the big time.
In 1993, Jolie was a 17-year-old Hollywood hopeful. So, when the offer came through to star in a sequel to none other than a Jean Claude Van Damme film, she jumped at the chance, despite Van Damme not featuring in the follow-up. Thus, her career in earnest truly began with the long-forgotten Cyborg 2, and she has barely looked back since… for good reason, too.
Jolie landed the main role in the movie, starring as Casella Reese, a pointless character name given that she is referred to as ‘Cash’ throughout. In true ’90s fashion, Cash is a cyborg assassin unlike any other because she has the canny knack of emulating human emotions, which is handy from a production point of view because she can handily just play the role of a human throughout.
However, the plot drives the message home after Cash’s emotions make her self-aware, and she refuses to partake in what would be a suicidal mission, ensuing a wave of corny B-movie action. This wasn’t the sort of film Jolie was hoping to celebrate when she imagined her first big premiere. “Oh, I threw up,” Jolie told Buzzfeed, recalling the moment when she first watched the sci-fi farce.
“I did,” she insisted. “I saw it, and I threw up. Just nausea. But the kickboxing was fun. It was the first time I was sent to do kickboxing. But I was 17, and I think I thought I was making a real movie, which is odd, since there’s a scene when I’m decapitated and talking … as one does. But, yeah, I saw it and got really sick. I just remember my brother Jamie [Haven] holding me and saying, ‘It’s going to be all right.’”
However, there is a distinct irony to this comical recollection, given that it placed her in a niche where she has soared ever since. As Milla Jovovich once said: “I intend to be in more action movies because, apart from Angelina Jolie, no other actress stands out in this genre.” From Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Wanted, her kickboxing, vomit-inducing debut has stood her in good stead, even if the standard wasn’t to her liking.
You can check out the trailer for the almost-brilliantly bad Michael Schroeder-directed film below.