ZONE 414 (2021) Reviews of humanoid robot sci-fi film

 

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Zone 414 is a 2021 British science fiction thriller film about a private investigator hired to find the daughter of a humanoid robot creator.

Directed by Andrew Baird (One Way) from a screenplay written by Bryan Edward Hill (Ash vs Evil Dead series; The Russian Specialist). The movie stars Guy Pearce, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Jonathan Aris, Travis Fimmel, Ned Dennehy and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.

Plot:

In Zone 414, a dangerous, dark colony of humanoids is known as “the city of robots.” The colony’s creator (Travis Fimmel) hires private investigator David Carmichael (Guy Pearce) to track down his missing daughter.

David teams up with Jane (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz), a highly advanced A.I. equipped with the same technology as her fellow humanoids, but with all the emotions, feelings and dreams of a human being. They travel through the city uncovering clues and a crime that calls into question the origins and true purpose behind the city of artificial humans…

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Reviews:

“Baird offers all the style he can muster, and scoring efforts from Raffertie work very hard to suggest that everything onscreen is electrifying, but Zone 414 can’t shake its inherent dullness and clunky pacing. The production focuses on the wrong ideas, trying to ape Blade Runner instead of building on certain concepts concerning android horrors and human compassion.” Blu-ray.com

“The snoozer of a script from Bryan Edward Hill doesn’t help anything. There’s a sense that the actors are trying and agree that there is potential here, but Zone 414 isn’t suspenseful, thoughtful, visually appealing (the poster has more exciting uses of color than the entire movie), or sexy. It is as lifeless as the humanoid robots taking orders.” Flickering Myth

“Simultaneously simple and over-the-top production design creates a variety of spaces that seem both of our world and not. The plot, involving a whole lot of mystery and suspicion, makes little sense, but along the way to its intriguing sort-of conclusion, we find ourselves sucked in, the unsettling pleasures therein just enticing enough to hold our attention.” Hammer to Nail

“It takes the best of the genre—android action, philosophical questions about artificial intelligence, a badass lead character, twists and turns—and mashes them together in a bold and satisfying way. It legitimately makes one care about an android and her journey through a sea of sleaze to maintain her independence.” Josh at the Movies

What Bryan Edward Hill’s script lacks in originality, Baird tries to make up for with world-building […] Much of this is redeemed by a few intriguing scenes, but the writing fails Baird a few times too often. Zone 414 tries really hard. It often fails. But not always.” MaddWolf

“Hill’s script does seem to care about these questions and, to some degree, the ramifications of the possibility that at least one android is closer to being more “real” than a machine. Those are the mysteries that really should matter here since the basic plot is so routine and the backdrop of this futuristic world is so cheaply realized.” Mark Reviews Movies

“The plot sets itself as a classic film noir with sci-fi elements, and there could have been an effective examination of man’s inhumanity as opposed to androids whose only desire is to be human. But to say the script by Bryan Edward Hill is uneventful would be an understatement […] There’s little action, and even less room for Pearce to be the charismatic force we know he can be.” Punch Drunk Critics

“Director Baird fan-worships Scott’s eighties sci-fi classic to the point of absolute annoyance, rendering his film devoid of anything interesting. Zone 414 is a sloppy and uninspired snooze fest that does nothing but make its audience remember (and long for) the brilliance and creativity of Blade Runner, the masterpiece this film so desperately desires to be.” Screen Comment

“Andrew Baird’s directorial debut, Zone 414, blatantly lifts from the Blade Runner universe to the point that inspiration bleeds into thoughtless mimicry, with the characters emerging as mere shadows of the esteemed original. Offering no individuality of its own, Zone 414 barely manages to stay afloat with its oft-repeated tropes, which come to a listless, foreseeable end.” Screen Rant

Release date:

In the USA, Zone 414 was released by Saban Films theatrically and On-Demand on September 3, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Guy Pearce … David Carmichael
Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz … Jane
Jonathan Aris … Joseph Veidt
Travis Fimmel … Marlon Veidt
Ned Dennehy … George
Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson … Mr Russell
Colin Salmon … Hawthorne
Antonia Campbell-Hughes … Jaden
Olwen Fouéré … Royale
Maggie Cronin … Authoritative Woman
Jorin Cooke … Hamilton
Holly Demaine … Melissa Veidt

Filming locations:

Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Belgrade, Serbia

Filming dates:

6 January 2020 – 31 January 2020

Fun facts:

Principal photography was supposed to start in December 2019. Travis Fimmel was attached to play the lead role, but due to scheduling conflicts with Die in a Gunfight (2021), who was shooting in November and December, he dropped out, Guy Pearce replacing him. When the production of Zone 414 was postponed to January 2020, Fimmel rejoined the project.

Trailer: