You know how I would usually go to the cinemas to watch movies that Malaysians normally would not bother about due to lack of marketing and interests, and end up actually enjoying those movies? I’ve written about quite a few of those movies already.
I went to watch another yesterday. It was not a new movie, it was a British movie that premiered in the UK back in March this year. But it is new over here, they just premiered in Malaysia last Thursday. When I was inside the theater, there were 2 other couples inside and no one else, so you know how unknown this movie is over here.
In the past, I would write about unknown movies because I liked them and hoped to get a few more people to watch them in the cinemas, contribute to their box office numbers however paltry it may be. This time, is the first time I write about the movie because I DO NOT want you guys to watch it in the cinemas. Because it is crap. Seriously, crap.
I’m talking about Robot Overlords. I was lured into the cinema to watch this one because of the cast, the trailer and the synopsis.
The cast, well… they have Gillian Anderson (Scully in The X-Files) and Ben Kingsley (the evil royal uncle in Prince of Persia: Sand of Times), two hugely famous actors in their own rights.
The trailer, well…
Looked promising enough…
The synopsis, well… it says something along the line of: Alien robots came and conquered our planet and imposed a curfew on humanity. A few highly talented teenagers found out their weakness and lead humanity to fight back. Generic, I admit, but something that will entice people like me to part with RM 14 and go for it. I mean, [humans fighting alien robots] usually translates to [a lot of high tech machines and a lot of things blowing up], isn’t it? What’s there not to like?
Sadly, it was very far away from what I imagined. Because I do not want you to watch this movie, I will tell you spoilers. A lot of it. I will list down a few things that made me pissed off.
1. Shit start to the movie
The movie skipped the parts where robots came and caused the destruction. No explosions at all. All being narrated by a robot mediator. The action started after the narration when a man became suicidal and broke curfew. A promising looking robot shot and killed him. He left a son who was almost killed too but saved in the last second by an evil human conspirator of the robots. So the boy lives, and is now orphaned. At this point of the movie, I can already guess, yeah this boy must be the main protagonist, he will grow up into a leader and lead the human resistance, much like Terminator’s John Connor.
But, no. He did not grow up to be the leader. After this scene, he became a kelefeh (sidekick) to the guy who will be the leader. It wasn’t even that main protagonist that saved him. In fact, the main guy just came out of nowhere. There was zero explanation on who the hell he was and suddenly the movie shifted focus to him.
2. Shit details
Like I said, the so called human leader came out of nowhere. We do not know his history, his strengths, his motivation. At no point of time in the movie did all these introductory stories get even close to being addressed.
And, oh… what did he use to save the world? He was just fooling around with his friends with a car battery, all those mucking about, woo woo, yeah yeah, hehehehehehe~ and then suddenly one of the friends got an electric shock. And that’s how they are going to save the world. Without further elaboration, him and friends lug that battery and began their journey to save the world. I mean, it was so… confusing. One moment it was boys playing with car batteries, the next moment they become world saviors.
And how are they going to save the world? By embarking on a journey to look for the main guy’s father, who was himself living in a shit hole of a bunker to hide from the robots. Their entire adventure has bearing whatsoever with regards to how he ended up saving the world.
It was basically bullshit after bullshit after bullshit with absolutely no correlation and no cohesion…
A car battery will save the world. Yeahhhhh…
3. Shit battle scenes
In the beginning of the movie, there were robots making appearances. It was all cool. The big ass one even shot and killed a man. It all seemed very promising.
Unfortunately, it all went downhill after that. I was expecting the movie would show a lot of robots shooting at humans, and then humans figuring out how to shoot the robots back. But no… the entire first half of the movie tells how humans attempt to NOT get shot. Apparently the robots have been programmed to give humans 10 seconds to return home, and the movie is all about how to avoid being detected, or how get home within 10 seconds. Instead of seeing things blow up, we get served with a lot of running and chasing around, but not a shot was fired at all! I spent all movie mentally shouting “Come on! Shoot! Shoot him already! Damn it, blow something up!“, but nope, did not happen…
In fact, there wasn’t even any shooting until the ending, the climax of the movie. And then when the robots did shoot, still there was no explosion. You see, there were 8 or 10 robots shooting at the protagonist, but… let’s just say my grandma would have better aim if she is still around. I mean, robots, supposed to be programmed to be accurate, firing at the protagonist who wasn’t even actively avoiding, he was struggling to not get thrown off a giant robot ship. And they all could not hit the target. And then, those missed shots, instead of blowing things up, they just… I guess they just disappeared into thin air. Still no damn explosions!
And then in the end, there were indeed explosions, all the alien robot motherships did blow up. But it wasn’t because of that secret weapon that the kids built. It wasn’t how humanity shot back and won. It was the protagonist getting hold of a robot mediator (a robot made in human shape), staring at the robot intensely, hacked into the robots’ network using his stare and caused all them ships to self destruct. Great! Suddenly our main guy is a robot psychic! How the hell did he get that power?? No idea…
I remember feeling extremely disappointed with the movie. I kept saying to myself: “This is bullshit, man. Utter bollocks!”… I think the robots are kind of cool, the concept and the premises of the movie are kind of cool, but the producers messed it all up. There are a million ways to make a cool alien robot movie, and yet they found a way to make it suck big time. They didn’t even know the basics of alien robot movie 101: Make robots and humans shoot at each other, a lot.
Okay, okay, I did enjoy ONE aspect of the movie. I discovered another fresh young girl. I discovered Ella Hunt.
She is a 17 years old British actress that does not even have a Wikipedia page. But she’s hot. I think she’s hot. According to IMDB (not 1MDB), she had cameo appearances in Les Miserables, so Robot Overlords is probably the first movie where she actually has a starring role in.
But I still don’t want you to waste money watching the movie, you can see her here. Here’s a few more pictures of her, not from the movie.
And here’s a video of her being interviewed, and a video of her singing in a music festival a couple years ago.
I hope she gets more movie gigs and becomes more famous…