10th Aug2015

‘Robot Overlords’ Blu-ray Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Gillian Anderson, Ben Kingsley, Callan McAuliffe, Geraldine James, Steven Mackintosh, Tamer Hassan, Milo Parker, Ella Hunt, Michael Stuart, Roy Hudd, Craig Garner | Written by Jon Wright, Mark Stay | Directed by Jon Wright

ROBOT_OVERLORDS_BD_2D

The Earth has been taken over but Robot Overlords and all humans are confined to their houses, risking incineration by Robot Sentries if they venture outside. As Sean Flynn and his friends figure out how to deactivate the electronic implants they are forced to wear, they set out to find his father, who has been missing since the war when the Robots took over. Using their new found freedom, they discover more than they bargain for and end up in a struggle which could determine the fate of the human race itself.

Robot Overlords. We all know it is going to happen. I definitely find myself eyeing all Apple products suspiciously, sure that one day they will rise up and take over the planet. Who wouldn’t think that is a good idea for a film? I mean humans enslaved by giant robots, forced to live inside as their new rulers do god knows what to the planet? Yep. That appeals to my inner nerd absolutely! So how did this British post apocalyptic sci-fi stand against the other giants out there?

Unfortunately, I think ‘stand’ isn’t quite the right term to use when describing Robot Overlords. Perhaps ‘sit’ would be a better. In terms of pacing, this film is somewhat lacking. By about half way through I definitely found myself thinking ‘come on! Get to the big robot war already’. For the majority of the film it does seem to be building up to something rather epic then, when you finally get there it just… doesn’t. It is climactic of course, but it just doesn’t really seem to deliver what I felt was appropriate levels of mind blowing, explosive awesome for a topic such as this one. Maybe I am just expecting too much, I don’t know.

As for characters, the leading four do feel a little stereotypical. The teenage boy hero, the walking love interest, the strangely intelligent little kid and the comic idiot are nothing new. Ben Kingsley does bring the evil well as Smythe the film’s villain, alongside one of the creepiest robots I have ever seen. Also, Gillian Anderson does the most convincing English accent I have ever seen an American do and at one point I had to stop the film to confirm it was even her I was watching and not someone else.

As films go, I wouldn’t say that Robot Overlords was terrible. The characters, if a little two dimensional, did manage to stay entertaining and, although the subject is a little ridiculous, it never felt like a mockery or a farcical film. Perhaps Robot Overlords is best left for the days when you just want to watch something mindless. It is a simple story which is fun in its own way if you can forgive pacing issues dragging it out a bit.

Robot Overlords is out now on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray Steelbook.

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