Bland Bluster, 21 October 2009
Author: gary-444 from United Kingdom
Big budgets and sci-fi tend to be uneasy bedfellows, and so it proves here.The idea, of surrogate robots “living” human lives for them is a decent one, and touches on ground explored in “I Robot”, “Westworld” and “Total Recall”. The cast is strong built around the dependable Bruce Willis.But disappointingly the Studio and Director Jonathan Mostow are content to allow the film to run as strictly formulaic big-budget fare.Car chases, a crash which reprises the seminal “Dirty Harry” fire hydrant scene, helicopter chases and choreographed crowd scenes are all presented forensically and as dispassionately as a robot artificial intelligence.
Mostow has an interesting background.As Director of T3, he showed a command of mega bucks productions and futuristic CGI, as executive producer of “The Game” he showed an understanding of how to tell a good story. Neither talent is much in evidence here.The characters are underwritten, and the story itself, of “rogue robots gone bad” lacks drama with a bizarre ending.Normally I praise a 90 minute running time, in this instance it appears that they simply gave up after an hour and a half.
If you like a blaring soundtrack to artificially create drama and sanitised chase sequences then this will suit just fine.But an “alternative” encampment, directly lifted from”Escape From New York” which Mostow is in the middle of remaking is risible and there is little else to amuse and entertain, certainly not the script which is about as functional as it is possible to imagine