ROBOTS NEVER LIE
Action - 22%
Originality - 56%
Acting - 32%
Story - 44%
Effects - 12%
A great teen Sci-Fi film with great ideas but poor effects and execution. Although Kingsley makes it a touch more bareable.
Robot Overlords is a British sci-fi film about a robot empire that invades and takes over the world. During the occupation, three years after the eleven-day war, humans are forced to wear cybernetic implants that let the Robots monitor whether or not the humans are obeying their one rule; to stay in-doors.
In the occupied world, we find a group of humans, a mishmash of family and neighbours stuck under one roof, watched over by a group of Collaborators: the Volunteer Corps, headed up by Sector Chief, Robin Smythe, Ben Kingsley.
The first segment of the film sets the scene that everyone under the roof is trying to keep busy. One moment, in particular, the teens of the house are trying to repair a PlayStation to sate their boredom. During the repair, Nathan, James Tarpey, is electrocuted by a car battery used to power the device.
After picking himself up off the floor, the group notice Nathan’s implant has switched off!
So begin’s talk of rebellion, but for Sean Flynn, Callan McAuliffe, this means he can now find the truth of what happened to his father, lost during the war.
While searching for answers in the Sector Chief’s archives, the group’s implants awaken, and they are captured and sent for deep scanning, which is essentially a death sentence, hosted by Smythe himself.
When Sean is placed in the scanner, his implant is replaced with a network implant so that the Robot’s may download everything he knows and how they were able to turn off their implants.
Just before Sean becomes a mentally hollow shell, he’s able to ex-machina himself free with the network implant still attached.
Freeing his friends, Sean and the group make their way to where they found Sean’s father may have been moved.
Eventually, the group make their way through the countryside, with some help from a few friends along the way. They run into a group of old mafia types who direct them further along a path where Sean’s father may have gone.
During a run in with a Robot Walker, Sean finds he can control some of the movements of the robot, possibly due to his new implant.
Eventually, the group make it to a secret hideaway where Sean’s father and a large group of survivors have managed to remove their implants.
That is until they’re tracked down and attacked by a large group of Robot’s and Smythe.
The Robot Moderator, Craig Garner, an intermediary between the humans and Robots that is built around an odd looking child, declares that all humans in the zone are to be deep scanned immediately, and threatens Smythe with the first scan if he does not recover Sean and his group.
Creating one last battle between the human survivors and the Robot occupancy. The human’s only real weapon was a World War 2 Spitfire, fully mechanical and, therefore, unaffected by Robot control.
At this point, Sean commandeers a large Robot airship filled with deep scanners and begins a run to ram it into a large Robot hover cube, this is just before he highjacks a drone ship that we never see.
After saving the survivors, the group uncovers the Robot Moderator which Sean is able to hack into and connect to the entire earth network of Robots to begin shutting them down.
The honest review of this interesting movie is simple. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not a great movie at all. There are a lot of interesting elements to the movie, cybernetic telepathy, a robot empire, human collaborators, it has it all, the perfect recipe for a good movie.
But there is something lacking. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of creativity in robot design or lack of dystopian landscape and setting that just didn’t make me feel like it was a sci-fi movie, more like a teenage drama with bad CJI robots in the background.
If you can look past the poor effects that are very popular in American low-budget cinema, you find a deep story, a more interesting story, which is let down by some poorly acted scenes and odd pacing.
Even the great Ben Kingsley isn’t enough to maintain the standard.
It’s an interesting movie with a bunch of good ideas that were poorly executed.