ROBOT OVERLORDS

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Robot Overlords is a movie aimed at children about the extinction of all mankind, involving metal aliens who land on Earth and demand that we all stay in our homes until they’ve finished with the planet. Anyone who disobeys gets shot by a huge robot wielding a gigantic gun. That is until a teenage boy finds a clever trick that could save us all. 

There is something terribly British about the plot of Robot Overlords. The idea that giant alien machines can invade our planet it nothing new, but the notion that they then expect mankind to form an orderly queue and wait for extinction seems peculiarly British. As is the way that heroes of the movie rebel against their oppressors; through cunning, luck, and pluck.

Jon Wright’s direction is tight and clever here. He’s found the sweet spot between ‘gritty dystopia’ and ‘kids adventure’ that gives the movie a strong feel; this works well as a kids’ film, but it’s just as interesting to adults. It is helped immeasurably by Ben Kingsley’s performance as the villain. Unlike his performances in other kids’ movies, he isn’t chewing the scenery here; instead, he’s playing a bad person trying to make the best of bad situation. He’s a believable baddy and Kingsley is appropriately chilling as the man who collaborates with the robots in order to get some power over his own kind.

The cast is rather fabulous throughout. Gillian Anderson is as magnificent as she’s always been and she also is a very convincing hero and mother. The kids, however, steal the show. The four of them are a believable unit of friends and family, each with their own hopes and fears. We buy into their courage and stupidity readily, and strap into this deliciously dark rollercoaster of a movie. Yes, the plot is a little simple in places, as yes, it’s filled with sci-fi tropes and action movie clichés, but it really doesn’t matter. Robot Overlords is pure fun; more of this please, and soon.

DVD REVIEW: ROBOT OVERLORDS / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: JON WRIGHT / SCREENPLAY: JON WRIGHT, MARK STAY / STARRING: GILLIAN ANDERSON, BEN KINGSLEY, CALLAN MCAULIFFE, ELLA HUNT, MILO PARKER / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 10TH


 

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