Kill Command, 2016.
Directed by Steve Gomez.
Starring Vanessa Kirby, Thure Lindhardt and David Ajala.
In a near future technology-reliant society, an elite army unit is helicoptered to a remote, off-the-grid island facility. What starts out as a simple training exercise for Captain Bukes (Lindhardt) and his tight-knit squad, descends into a terrifying battle to the death, as the marines discover the island is overrun by an enemy that transcends the human concept of evil.
There is much mystery to explore in Steve Gomez’s debut feature film Kill Command. Set in the near future where advanced AI and cybernetics have been invented, we follow Mills (a poignantly controlled Vanessa Kirby), a robotically enhanced woman working for a seemingly benevolent tech company, who is sent on one of the company’s field test locations. There, a squad of US Marines is meant to train for combat using robots which Mills helped design. It’s supposed to be a simple mission: get in, eliminate the robots using their elite military training, and get out.
Things, of course, begin going awry fairly soon, and the tensions within the squad–especially between Mills and the squad captain, Bukes–rise up to the surface in an unavoidable clash as the sinister purpose of this training exercise comes to light. What purpose do the flying camera drones serve? When will the squad get off the island? And is Mills really as clueless as she says she is?
With a largely unknown cast and a writer/director whose experience lies in visual effects, Kill Command is an impressive first feature. The production design is slick and cool, borrowing colour palettes and influences from many classic sci-fi films to achieve a clean, cold look. The story, while simple, lends itself to great dramatic tension which is beautifully executed by the cast, and Gomez’s VFX experience undoubtedly contributes to the flawless CG, which looks much better than a lot of recent big-budget releases.
For fans of tech-gone-wrong sci-fi and pure character-driven storytelling, Kill Command is a film very much worth seeing, albeit a small production which may not be widely screened in cinemas. Luckily you can also catch it on-demand via iTunes.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Kat Kourbeti – Follow me on Twitter and watch my film vlogs on YouTube.
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