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Robot Overlords - Film Review

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by TheOnlyFiona (subscribe)
In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published August 10th 2015
Robot invasion and the human resistance
It's like Terminator but the robots are from outer space. It's like Transformers but the robots are more like worker drones. It's a dystopian future where we've lost out to a robot occupation. Humans will come to no harm on the condition that everyone stays indoors. Various robots patrol the ground, skyscrapers and skies. Everyone has an implant that tracks their movements. There is no escape.

Robot Overlords poster
Robot Overlords UK poster from IMDB

The robots have a haunting 'Mediator' who is the face of the robot occupation. He fills the television screens with announcements which all end with, "robots never lie". The Mediator is served by a group of humans who willingly serve the robots. On the surface these 'collaborators' provide food and housing relief to people. However collaborators like Mr. Smythe (Ben Kingsley) abuse their powers.

Mediator and Mr.Smythe from
The Mediator and Mr.Smythe

3 years into the occupation and people are cracking under the pressure. 8 year old Connor is orphaned and taken in by Kate Flynn (Gillian Anderson). The makeshift family includes Kate's son, Sean, Sean's friends, Nate and Alexandra, and old Mike. Sean's dad, who was in the airforce, has been missing since the beginning of the war. Mr. Smythe's frequent visits bring no new information and his over friendly gestures towards Kate only fuel Sean's suspicions.

An accident leads to the discovery of a way to disarm the implants. This leads Sean and friends to embark on a quest to find his dad. A clue sends them into the Collaborators' headquarters, where they discover the full extent of My.Smythe's treachery. Quest, villain and danger make this a robot fairytale of sorts.

Robot Overlords poster
Robot Overlords poster from Wikipedia

It's a fresh take on the material with some great dialogue, especially for Connor. For an independent film it looks quite good with only the special effects the giveaway. However the special effects are not bad, just not as sleek for larger spaceships. Other than that, it could easily be a Hollywood film.

The major drawback is the underdeveloped female characters. Alex's sole purpose is the love interest while Gillian Anderson's Kate is underused as the mum/damsel in distress. Although Kate does have an I'm-taking-charge sequence, I was disappointed because she had the potential to become a stronger female character.

Although not groundbreaking, Robot Overlords gives a nice take on the robot invasion genre. It's an enjoyable film with some choice scenes. The story progresses smoothly with a well thought out game changer. It feels less teen flick and more a Sci-Fi celebration.

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