Thure Lindhardt, Vanessa Kirby
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…90 minutes of slick, well-paced action.
Having been a visual effects artist for a large part of his career, it’s no surprise that Steven Gomez’ feature debut, Kill Command, is a stunning piece of eye candy for those who like their cinematic technology to bite back.
In the far flung future, a group of marines, led by Captain Bukes (Thure Lindhardt), are packed off to a remote facility for some supposed routine training. Tagging along for the ride is Mills (Vanessa Kirby), a human/machine hybrid whose presence is not appreciated by the troops, with most of them holding a fear that one day robots will take their jobs. And nothing fails to waylay their fears more than arriving at the facility only to be ambushed by killer robots that, naturally, have begun to think for themselves. As the marines fight tooth and nail against bolts and wires, the crux of Kill Command lies in the ambiguity of Mills, whose allegiance is questioned by both sides of the conflict.
Gomez, who also wrote Kill Command, keeps things grounded as all hell breaks loose. The CGI metal monsters that come crawling out of the woodwork feel like they’re an organic part of the film rather than slathered on top as part of some ill-advised post production. The troop of marines maybe largely faceless cannon fodder, but Gomez at least ensures that Mills and Bukes are rounded enough that we care about their eventual fates. If we’re being honest, there’s no escaping the fact that Kill Command owes at least a pound of flesh to James Cameron’s Aliens, as well as other films such as The Terminator and even Dog Soldiers. But its nods and winks to other bigger budget films are never jarring and are cohesive enough to provide 90 minutes of slick, well-paced action.