Robot Overlords (2014)
Directed by: Jon Wright
Written by: Jon Wright, Mark Stay
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Callan McAuliffe, Craig Garner, Ella Hunt, Geraldine James, Gillian Anderson, Milo Parker, Tamer Hassan
For the last three years, robots have ruled the planet and forced the humans to obey a strict 24/7 curfew or otherwise be killed. Helping the robots are collaborators like Mr Smythe, human citizens who are now acting against their fellow humans to aid the purpose of the robot overlords. The robots’ leader continually preaches the message that they are merely researching human life, that they will leave and never return once their research is completed, and that during their stay, all humans must stay indoors. Tracking the humans via implants, drones and robot guards roam the land ensuring the humans abide by their rules else suffer deadly consequences. However, a group of youngsters find a way around the surveillence to search for the real plans the machines have for Earth and mankind.
Sci-fi adventure flick ROBOT OVERLORDS focuses on teenager Sean Flynn (Callan McAuliffe) who lives with his mum Kate (Gillian Anderson), his best friends, brother and sister Nathan (James Tarpey) and Alexandra (Ella Hunt), and young orphan Connor (Milo Parker). Sean hasn’t seen his RAF pilot father Danny (Steven Mackintosh) since before the war between the robots and humans and after the humans lost the war after 11 days of fighting, he’s presumed dead, though Sean lives in hope that somewhere out there his father is still alive. When Sean and his friends accidentally discover a way of temporarily disabling their implants, they set off on a quest to find Sean’s dad and to find out what the weasly Mr Smythe and the robots are actually up to.
We don’t really get any fun adventure movies for kids anymore but ROBOT OVERLORDS is such an entry that has charm, fun, thrills and looming threat that it will surely excite any youngster. However, unlike Jumanji and the like, this film is aimed at older kids as it does feature quite a bit of swearing from the characters which I felt was a bit out of place. They could have easily done without it and have appealed to the children without having to shoehorn in swear words so they can be “down with the kids”. Regardless of this unnecessary hiccup, the film features a smashing young cast who’s comradery and energy will sweep you up as you bear witness to their adventure.
Playing Smythe, the baddie of movie, is Ben Kingsley who adopts a Northern accent (we’re all wicked up here) and tries to worm his way into the bed of Kate Flynn’s. He seems to be using his superior position to work his personal desires which means keeping secrets from his fellow humans, and although he comes across as nice and caring to Kate, Sean remains suspicious. Accompanying Smythe is the Mediator (Craig Garner), a robot appearing to be a little person in human form except his face remains static whilst his mouth moves. This makes for quite a creepy visual and his ability to pop up anywhere at any time isn’t comforting either. These two, coupled with the robots armed with vapourisers and lasers, prove a powerful enemy for the kids and for human race itself.
Lively young kids on a quest against giant robots, what’s there not to love? ROBOT OVERLORDS is plenty of fun and even if it’s a tad cheesy and predictable in places, it still manages to make the viewer care about the core characters and their goals. With a splash of humour and some impressive CGI, ROBOT OVERLORDS is definitely worth a look if you’re after some light entertainment.