The hunters become the hunted in Steven Gomez’s debut film
In a world dependant on technology it was only a matter of time before technology would take over with a vengeance.A small team of six are sent out on a routine military training exercise but soon realise that there is nothing routine about it. Written and directed by Steven Gomez, Kill Command is his first feature film release. With a background in CGI and visual effects it comes as no surprise that this film is heavily ladened with computer generated imagery from start to finish. For the most part it fits within the story but in places it does feel heavy and clunky. A female human robot hybrid uses her eyes as means to interface with the computers which looks good and works reasonably well but after a while gets a bit tedious. The editing is pretty much what you would expect from a film like this, fast and choppy which all works to contribute towards the action sequences.In the first of many scenes reminiscent of numerous other sci-fi films, Captain Bukes (Thure Lindhardt) and his team board a military plane and set off for an unknown location for what they think is a standard two day training exercise. The team is composed of Drifter (David Ajala), Bukes’s level headed right-hand man; Cutbill (Tom McKay) the techy one in the group; Robinson (Bentley Kalu) the slightly more intense one in the tram, Goodwin (Mike Noble) who plays the timid newbie and Loftus (Osi Okerafor) who is the inevitable joker in the pack. Accompanying them is Mills (Vanessa Kirby), a vendor for the U.S military, who also happens to be a form of computer-human hybrid, something the rest of the team call a ‘super-tec’.
Having landed on a remote island and left to fend for themselves with all outside communication conveniently cut off, the team make their way through the dense woodland in search of their target. It’s not long before Mills and the marines realise that this is not your average training expedition, as in fact they are the subject of an altogether very different mission. Bukes and his team are being herded through the island. As the marines try to figure out what is hunting them they soon discover that Mills is not quite what she seems and is connected to everything that’s going on, holding the answers they need to survive.
As far as the acting goes, the cast are all fairly decent in their roles, cheesy one liners aside. There isn’t much of a back story to any of the characters though, apart from some vague comments that are made but never really get followed through, which ultimately makes it difficult to connect to any of the characters emotionally. Kirby’s Mills is like a mash-up of Winona Ryder’s Call from Alien Resurrection and Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley from Aliens - minus the badassery.
It had the potential to be something great but predictability and pastiche got in the way.
David Ajala is probably the only real stand out performance but I’m not sure if that’s purely because the rest of the cast were mediocre or not. The characters of the marines are all evocative of other characters such as Bill Duke’s Mac in Predator, Jenette Goldstein’s Vasquez and Michael Biehn’s Hick’s both in Aliens. Ultimately nothing really felt original in Kill Command and while I’m aware that very rarely is there a completely original film released, taking inspiration is something that Kill Command seems to have taken to extremes.
Despite getting into the action fairly quickly, Kill Command does remain fairly slow in places. For those who love sci-fi and action films I would imagine this being right up their street - it’s very much check your brain at the door fodder. However, for me it just didn’t click into place. I felt constantly reminded of films such as Dog Soldiers, Aliens, Terminator, Avatar and Predator - which all managed to do it so much better and were far more enjoyable. Unfortunately the ending of Kill Command suggests a possible sequel - hopefully next time they’ll do a bit better.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.