I have always loved robots. My fascination with them started at a young age with a cartoon that for everyone that grew up in the 80’s should be very familiar: The Transformers. It was awesome and the toy of my childhood. I don’t even remember the number of Transformers toys I eventually ended up with, but I would not be surprised if they were more than a hundred. As I grew up, I discovered other metal monstrosities that I loved even more. By watching movies such as The Terminator, and anime shows that featured even more exotic variations, my love for walking (and sometimes even talking) metal only grew more and more. Anytime a movie or tv show appears that features robots in some way, I just have to check it out. Early this year I came across a pretty gripping trailer for a movie that I knew nothing about. But I was determined to see it because it featured, yes you guessed it: robots! Welcome people, to part 1 of Countdown to the Last Jedi.
Kill Command is set in the near future, but where technology has certainly made some big leaps. The Harbinger Corporation is developing military hardware in the form of sophisticated robots and A.I. systems to maybe replace soldiers on the battlefield. The cyborg Katherine Mills is an employee of this corporation, and accompanies a group of soldiers to a training island for a two day training mission. Captain Damien Bukes is the leader of the group and upon arrival issues his orders to his squad. At first everything seems to be going according to plan, and the excersise is progressing nicely. But when the first of his men dies, Damien soon realises that something is horribly wrong. Does Katherine know more about what is going on, or is she just an innocent bystander? Whatever the case, the soldiers are in for the fight of their lives. Because the robots they are up against are incredibly strong and are able to outsmart them at every corner. What began as a training excersise has now turned into a deadly fight for survival…..
Kill Command is a small budget movie that looks like a Hollywood blockbuster. Seriously, I have never seen special effects of this quality in a movie that has such relatively low costs. The stars of this film are the robots. All of them are realised through CGI, but if they would have told me that they build these for the film, I would have believed them. The lead unit of these advanced machines is incredibly menacing. There are a few scenes where this thing approaches through doorways, and you would think you were watching a horror movie. It really is an incredibly bad ass, but also terrifying monstrosity. Most of the scenes in this movie are filmed in a dark forrest, and on location, a fact that only enhances the experience of the film. Mixed with the special effects the fight scenes between the soldiers and the robots work incredibly well, and will have you on the edge of your seat.
The human characters however are an altogether different aspect. They are just incredibly static, and at no point do you feel any attachment to them. That is not to say that they are realised by bad actors, but it’s the lines that are given to them in the script itself that don’t really give room for great acting performances. It almost at times feels as if the humans themselves are robots too. Katherine Mills is of course one, albeit a cyborg, and she is played by actress Vanessa Kirby. She does a pretty good job in her role under the circumstances, and the character she plays is one that you never quite know what to make of. Is she good or evil? She keeps you guessing and that is a good thing. The rest of the squad, including Captain Bukes, played by Thure Lindhardt, are just your typical soldier grunts and serve mainly as cannon fodder. None of them leave a lasting impression unfortunately, which is a shame as it could have elevated the movie to an even higher level.
Usually when a movie doesn’t have a worthwhile script or interesting characters, it would be a turn off for me. But with this movie that’s somehow different. I enjoyed this film from start to finish. It’s tense, gripping and will leave you breathless at times. Yes, it’s certainly not perfect, and could have been an even better movie with a somewhat more interesting script. But despite that fact, if you love military science fiction movies, with some great special effects, and cool action sequences you had better check this one out. Down below you can find the trailer that got my interest for the film in the first place. If you want another review for this movie, you can find an awesome one over on mr. Bobinsky’s blog right here. (And while you are there I would definitely suggest you follow it, because it’s an amazing blog). That’s it for part 1 of this countdown. Next up is Star Trek II: The wrath of Khan. Hope you enjoyed this review, and as always thank you for reading!
I give Kill Command a 8 out of 10 score.