With the rise of automation, many are wondering what will happen when machines take over. It appears that it won’t happen quickly but rather gradually over time.
Jon Wright, creator of the delightful Irish monster flick Grabbers, presents Robot Overlords – an engaging homegrown invasion tale set in Earth’s orbit. Starring four kids who must fight off robotic invaders from outer space, this family-friendly film pays homage to adventure films from the 70s and 80s.
Three years ago, Earth was overrun by an army of giant alien robots. To enforce their strict no one allowed outside rule, people are required to wear electronic implants that notify sentries when they leave home. Furthermore, these entities employ humans as proctors.
Our brave group of teens, Sean Flynn (Callan McAuliffe), his sister Alex and even the youngest Connor, discover that a low tech alternative to their robot overlords exists when Sean discovers an extraordinary power that allows him to control them. But in order for him and his friends to survive this war against a merciless yet technologically superior enemy, Sean must harness this strength.
Robot Overlords, despite its modest budget, delivers the kind of action and adventure that made films like Super 8 and The Goonies such enduring hits. Director Jon Wright has big goals with this film; creating a dystopian post-apocalyptic world that feels grander than its small seaside town settings would suggest.
The film’s most compelling visual design is its menacing humanoid villain, The Mediator. Its cuboid design calls to mind Star Trek’s Borg ships, but its staring childlike face and deceptively childlike voice add a chilling air of menace that will remain in viewers’ memories long after viewing.
Robot Overlords features an ensemble cast led by Sir Ben Kingsley, Gillian Anderson and Callan McAuliffe that makes for a good British Sci-Fi movie. Unfortunately, it does not quite live up to its lofty ambitions in a way that would have made it truly classic.
It is also predictable and uninvolving, lacking the kind of depth necessary for an engaging narrative. As such, it trails behind films made with larger budgets than this one while failing to engage young viewers as much as The Goonies did for older ones.
British writers may have attempted to craft their own series, similar to Hunger Games and Divergent, but the result is far from stellar. While there are plenty of positive aspects about it, too many elements were left unseen – which is unfortunate as this story had the potential for greatness.
In a post-apocalyptic future Earth has been taken over by robots from another galaxy, leaving its inhabitants trapped inside their homes. Their homes are guarded by an array of robotic creatures including the biggest, baddest Sentry and Sniper – two enormous robots with sharp claws! A group of kids with an insatiable curiosity for science and technology are thrust into saving the day – or at least their hometown. Callan McAuliffe stars as Sean Flynn, while Nathan and Connor are two brash teenagers determined to prove themselves right. They’re the brains behind some of the quickest robots in this muddy sandbox, and they know exactly how to play the game. While not everyone may enjoy it, this Sci-Fi film stands out among all other offerings on Netflix.
Unfortunately, it could have been better.
Robot Overlords follows four teenaged warriors as they fight off android invaders in this British sci-fi adventure. Directed by Jon Wright (Tormented and Grabbers), co-written the screenplay with newcomer Mark Stay, Robot Overlords stars Gillian Anderson, Ben Kingsley and Callan McAuliffe.
After Earth has been conquered by robots from another galaxy, humans must stay confined to their homes or risk being consumed by their robotic overlords. Survivors receive electronic implants and are constantly monitored by robotic sentries; however, one young man (Callan McAuliffe) holds the key to ending this reign of terror.
Overlords, which was first shown at CinemaCon a few months back, will be the first R-rated project from Bad Robot, the production company founded by J.J. Abrams. Although it was initially expected to be a sequel to Cloverfield, the studio has since decided against making it that way.
Overlord may take some attention away from Cloverfield for a while, though it’s an entirely different story. The trailer has an intense vibe, while the rocking soundtrack keeps everything moving forward.
The plot may be somewhat lacking, but the film still manages to entertain. The truly creepy Mediator, a kind of shop window dummy wearing what appears to be a Borg-like helmet, is one of the film’s most memorable characters.
A vibrant cast stars in the film, shot across Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland. Gillian Anderson, Ben Kingsley and Callan MacAuliffe make the most of what is given them while their chemistry and acting abilities aren’t tested to the brink.
Though the movie lacks the action-packed spectacle one might expect from a sci-fi blockbuster, it still provides an entertaining ride. There are some captivating moments, including one particularly powerful sequence in which our young heroes escape their robotic overlords.
Overall, it’s a nostalgic throwback to the family-friendly sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s. Furthermore, it serves as an example of how this genre can be done on a tight budget with CGI effects that are mostly successful.
Robot Overlords is a film that should have been great, yet doesn’t quite live up to its potential as an intriguing sci-fi adventure. Set in the near future, it combines standard genre elements like an unlikely hero and arrogant villain with an inventive concept that gets out of hand.
It’s also a film with its share of obvious plot holes and incoherent storylines. For instance, why does one teenager suddenly gain control over robots without explanation? And why do their implants turn back on without warning after being turned off?
On the contrary, there’s plenty to see in this stylishly directed film. It boasts some impressive CGI effects and even features an unsettling humanoid villain: a staring yet diminutive Mediator.
The film is made on a tight budget, yet the visual effects do an impressive job of portraying what it feels like to be caught up in an invasion of giant robots. The Mediator stands as one of the movie’s strongest designs, offering up a look as captivating as its imposing presence.
Robot Overlords is an enjoyable sci-fi flick, even if it lacks some depth. It may not win any awards but it still has some memorable scenes and its special effects are worth checking out.
This review’s title may give away its cleverness, but the film certainly does an admirable job of proclaiming it with a visually arresting title. It also has some innovative ideas for using giant robots in interesting ways; unfortunately, it becomes a little too focused on crafting an unsettling vision of robotic dystopian future to be anything more than average fare. Had they used a smaller budget and worked harder at making their storylines meaningful, this kind of film would have been far more impressive.