Think Dog Soldiers. With Robots.
The basic situation is nearly the same: a team of soldiers are sent off to a remote area for a routine training exercise, only it isn’t quite so routine, there’s something they aren’t being told – and something waiting for them.
Only here, it is a training facility being run by a major military corporation, Harbinger, and something has gone wrong with their latest generation military AIs. Unfortunately, they’ve never watched these sorts of movies or they’d have just blown the place off the map. Period. End of story.
Complicating everything is the presence of Vanessa Kirby’s corporate representative, Mills, who has a cybernetic implant. She knows far more than she’s telling anyone and, as we expect in this sort of film (we’ve all seen Alien, after all), we don’t know whose side she is on.
But as comfortingly familiar as much of this film is, it is also quite well done – particularly considering that it is writer/director Steven Gomez’s first film – and that it is an Indie, shot on a tiny budget. The robots, in particular stand out: okay, they may have a few too many lights on them to be truly believable as military robots, but they do have a decidedly sinister presence, thanks to their size, their impressive design and the very human way they react – the small bodily movements we all take for granted – when they’re drawn into conversations.
Let’s face it, you know what you’re getting from this one. Its wonderful near-future military tech is beautifully done (even though I have my doubts about the feasibility of its transforming helicopter/x-winged aircraft, as cool as it undoubtedly looks), its cast performs adequately, and the action sequences are competently done. It ain’t Aliens, or Predator.
…But heck, once in a while we all get tired of re-watching those anyway.
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