Robot Overlords

"Good"

Robot Overlords Review


For a low-budget kids' movie, this British science-fiction adventure has an unusually sharp cast, decent effects and an energetic pace that helps to distract from the rather flimsy premise. So even if the story never quite builds a solid head of momentum, it holds the attention due to a dark-edged tone and some entertaining action sequences that give the terrific young actors a chance to shine.

It's set three years after robots invaded Earth, won the war in 11 days and locked all humans in their homes, using human collaborators to enforce this rule. In a seaside English town, the head collaborator is Smythe (Ben Kingsley), who spends much of his time pursuing hot single mother Kate (Gillian Anderson) and tormenting her teenage son Sean (Callan McAuliffe). Kate has taken in three orphaned kids: teen siblings Alexandra and Nathan (Ella Hunt and James Tarpey) and 10-year-old Connor (Milo Parker). And together these four young people figure out a way to short circuit their monitoring implants so they can leave their home. Sean is sure that his father (Steven Mackintosh) didn't die in the war, so he enlists the other three to help find him. And their search gets a boost when they stumble across a group of anarchic rebel veterans living the wild life in an abandoned hotel.

This partying hideout is a nicely raucous touch, even if its pungent innuendo essentially rules young children out of the audience. But this kind of blackly comical touch is more than welcome in a movie that's otherwise rather childish and earnest. Another nice touch is how the human collaborators are called the Volunteer Corps and identify themselves with Nazi-style armbands. And the robots' human-shaped mediator (Craig Garner) looks like a freaky demon-child. All of this helps overcome the film's strong sentimental streak, as well as some production values that are more in line with Doctor Who than a big-screen alien blockbuster.

Even so, what's on-screen looks pretty cool, with detailed special effects that are understated and eerily realistic. So even if the plot is thoroughly predictable, it moves along briskly through a continuous series of action set-pieces that sometimes feel genuinely perilous. Best of all is the way director-cowriter Jon Wright keeps the focus tightly on the kids, making them feel like real children who discover themselves as they rise to the challenge of the situation. McAuliffe is particularly good at grounding Sean's big heroic moments in flickers of self-doubt that make him unusually engaging. He's definitely a young actor to keep an eye on.


Robert Overlords Trailer

 



Robot Overlords

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th March 2015

Production compaines: British Film Institute (BFI), Pinewood Studios, British Film Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jon Wright

Producer: Ian Flooks, Justin Garak, Steve Milne, Piers Tempest

Starring: as Kate, as Robin Smythe, as Sean Flynn, as Monique, as Danny, Roy Hudd as Morse Code Martin, Ella Hunt as Alexandra, Milon Parker as Connor, as Michael, Mark Asante as VC Member

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.