Kill Command (2016)
Set in a near future, technology-reliant society is creating killing machines. Against this backdrop an elite army unit is helicoptered in to a remote, off-the-grid island training facility, to test the capabilities of the latest prototypes. They set up positions and make short work of the AI targets in the killing field. However, overnight their sentry goes missing, and when they find the corpse the next day they find themselves in the killing field and the tables have turned.
Genre : SF
Country : UK
Vanessa Kirby : Mills
Thure Lindhardt : Captain Bukes
David Ajala : Drifter
“Turn off that shit.
I do not want to be scanned, is that clear?“
Occasionally you encounter a low-budget film with overwhelming visual looks. Like “Kill Command”. And that despite the limited budget. Besides that, you can also enjoy some successful performances and a narrative which is entertaining enough. Allthough it’s not very original. We’ve seen enough films with sophisticated technologies doing crazy things because of a short circuit. The first thing that came to my mind is “Robocop“. And recently something went terribly wrong in “Ex Machina“. The only thing I could cite as a minus was the design of the robot causing mayhem. A bit too bombastic for my taste. And especially the practice-androids looked rather slightly dated.
Everything revolves around Mills (Vanessa Kirby), a kind of half-android who got a chip implanted into her brains that cured her paralysis at the same time. Working as an engineer at the firm that applied this technology, she receives some disturbing data from a training robot working with that same technology. It’s suspected that the robot acquired a consciousness and operates independently. Mills goes along with a platoon of marines on a mission. It’s a training session that takes place on the island from which this data originates. Despite being a well-oiled unit with a solid training behind them, slowly but surely they need to realize that those strategic androids (normally they just serve as innocent targets) are much stronger.
The relationship between Mills and the marines is similar to that of Rupley and Bishop in “Aliens“. They don’t trust her at all, which in turn creates some hostile reactions. Especially Captain Bukes (Thure Lindhardt) doubts her sincerity and suspects she’s withholding certain information. In essence, that’s also the case. But Captain Bukes also comes to the conclusion that without Mills, they have no chance against the artificial intelligence of the raging robots.
“Kill Command” definitely was a pleasant surprise. A simple SF that sails an exciting course. Most actors were relatively unknown to me. Not that they all had an influential part. Most of the cast served only as victim. The clashes were limited to the battle between humans and robots on the one hand. And on the other hand a dispute between Bukes and Mills. What impressed me the most was the used footage and visual effects. For a low-budget film this section was surely impressive. You can start whining about the fact that this not the first movie about a battle between man and machine. But despite that it was a fascinating film. And once again one can start debating about whether or not a thorough automation is not life-threatening to human civilization. That’s also a very old debate.