Kill Command (2016) reviews and overview

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[Total: 4   Average: 2.5/5]

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Kill Command – aka Identify – is a 2016 British science fiction action horror film written and directed by Steven Gomez, making his feature debut. It stars Thure Lindhardt and Vanessa Kirby.

The story focuses on a group of U.S. Marines attempting to survive after a training mission against warfare A.I. goes wrong.

In a technologically advanced near future, Katherine Mills, a cyborg working for Harbinger Corporation, discovers a reprogramming anomaly regarding a warfare A.I. system located at Harbinger I Training Facility, an undisclosed military training island. She meets with Captain Damien Bukes and his team consisting of Drifter, Robinson, Cutbill, Goodwin, Hackett, and Loftus – all of whom have been assigned to a two-day training mission at Harbinger I.

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Upon their arrival, the team notices global communications have been disabled, limiting them to local access only. They discover autonomously operating surveillance drones monitoring them. The team begins their mission of eliminating A.I. threats.

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The first encounter proves easy for the team as they eliminate A.I. drones from a vantage point. During the battle, Mills discovers an advanced S.A.R. (Study Analyze Reprogram) unit, S.A.R.-003, but is unable to access it. That night, Drifter and Mills discuss their pasts and Bukes’ disdain for her. Later, Loftus is killed by the S.A.R. unit.

The next day, they discover Loftus’s body at the location of the first encounter. The drones take the team’s original vantage point and kill Hackett. They discover the A.I. is adapting and learning from them…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …it’s a brisk, accomplished effort with a lot more wit, integrity, and intelligence than some of the more lavishly-budgeted genre movies which overwhelm the multiplexes. Our command… watch Kill Command.” Paul Mount, Starburst

“For a low-budget British film, this has great robot/effects design – courtesy of writer/director Steven Gomez’s background in visual effects. However, it has an over familiar premise, not much in the way of plot and is even a touch monotonous in the action department.” The Kim Newman Web Site

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“The bare-bones storytelling and character-development-on-the-fly might be indebted to Walter Hill’s work on Alien, but Gomez, a former visual effects artist making his debut, doesn’t have the chops to turn it into anything remotely intriguing, let alone special. Along with the European ensemble cast talking with cockamamie American accents, mouthing dialogue taken from the Bumper Book of Soldier Clichés written by James Cameron…” Martyn Contario, SciFiNow

“It’s a sci-fi action thriller whose borrowings are very plain, but it’s decent and watchable nonetheless, with an interesting central character premise … Gamers will have a bit of deja vu watching this but it is a well managed movie with some cool, controlled performances among the detonations.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

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“In terms of the performances, Kirby comes off best, aided by some striking VFX work on her glowing blue eyes, but the screenplay fails to deliver on the promising resentment that her presence on the mission initially provokes. As robo thrillers go, this has its moments, but the mechanical script could have used a little more in the way of human warmth.” Matthew Turner, The List

“The film’s main asset – the impressive digital effects that create the formidable sentient battle machines – is also its main problem. Having designed the robots, the film-makers show them off to the audience at every available opportunity, ignoring the basic rule of cinema that the most effective threat is the one that we create in our own minds.” Wendy Ide, The Observer

the real star of the film is its CGI effects, but this should come as no surprise when the writer/director is a visual effects master. He does a magnificent job of creating all the emotionless robots seem a threat […] The actual story is a run of the mill sci-fi flick, and wouldn’t be out of place on the Si-Fi channel.” Chris Pickering, UK Horror Scene

Cast and characters:

  • Thure Lindhardt as Captain Damien Bukes
  • Vanessa Kirby as Katherine Mills
  • David Ajala as Drifter
  • Bentley Kalu as Sergeant Rory Robinson
  • Tom McKay as Corporal Robert Cutbill
  • Mike Noble as Lance Corporal Martin Goodwin
  • Kelly Gough as Corporal Daniella Hackett
  • Osi Okerafor as Corporal Sam Loftus

Filming locations:

Coldharbour, near Docking
Old Vinyl factory in Hayes, London, England

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