Attack The Blocky Automatons
Release Date: 27 March
TBC | 90 minutes Director: Jon Wright Cast: Gillian Anderson, Ben Kingsley, Callan McAuliffe, Ella Hunt, Milo Parker
Director Jon Wright’s
previous movie was the drunks- vsmonsters comedy horror Grabbers, which really ought to have been the new Tremors. This new film is a change of tack, described in pre- publicity material as a Spielbergian coming of age sci- fi story. It’s not, really. It’s more like one of those BBC children’s serials of the ’ 70s and ’ 80s, such as The Tripods or The Changes, condensed to 90 minutes and with the benefit of giant CG robots and slightly more convincing teenagers.
Emphasis on slightly. They’re more Percy Jackson than Attack The Block, though they do have their cool moments of snarky humour ( and even manage to reclaim robot bollocks gags from Transformers 2).
The set- up is good – humans cowering indoors while robots stomp the Earth being all robot- y – but the plot is bobbins: a combination of “quest for dad” and “suddenly discovering handy powers”. Don’t let that put you off. The fun here is in the witty visuals, the irreverent details and some very silly humour. The robots impress by and large, and their human interface is one of the freakiest things you’ll see this year. Plus there’s Gillian Anderson as a posh working class mum and Sir Ben Kingsley doing another silly accent.
The overwrought ending is something of a mess, lacking the wit of the rest of the film, and its ambitions mean that it’s cheaplooking in places, but Robot Overlords is a fresh- feeling, affable stab at a low- budget family adventure. Dave Golder
Robot overlords, um, not pictured.