Hunt for rogue AI quickly turns silly
An abandoned high-tech prison sets the stage — as well as the limited shooting budget — for “Armed Response,” a far-fetched supernatural revenge technothriller starring Wesley Snipes, Dave Annable and Anne Heche and produced by KISS founder Gene Simmons and WWE Studios.
If those credits sound like a wacky hodgepodge, here’s the plot: A team of special forces ops who fought in Afghanistan reconvenes in a secluded U.S. military compound called the Temple, which was intended as a place to interrogate highlevel prisoners until its malfunctioning AI took on a deadly life of its own.
Although there is some entertainment value in seeing Snipes, Annable (who also played a war vet on the TV series “Brothers and Sisters”), Heche and WWE star Seth Rollins in full tactical gear hunting for the invisible perpetrator behind a vicious bloodbath that has eradicated a squad of their predecessors, that value proves fleeting.
Unable to employ an effective chokehold on the mounting tension, actor-director John Stockwell, whose more satisfying credits include 2001’s “Crazy/ Beautiful” and the 2000 TV movie “Cheaters,” fails to prevent Matt Savelloni’s increasingly ridiculous script from droning on lifelessly.
By the time one of the gun-toting members of Team Snipes growls “Let’s finish this!” viewers would be hard-pressed to disagree. “Armed Response.” Rating: R for strong violence, some grisly images and language. Running time: 1 hour, 33 minutes. Playing: Laemmle NoHo, North Hollywood. Also on VOD.
DAVE ANNABLE, left, and Wesley Snipes are part of a special forces team trailing an invisible killer.