Toreador Rating – 7.5
This week’s trip to the Horror Channel introduced me to the sci-fi, military, horror mash-up of Kill Command (2016). Feeling in the mood for a thriller with action I decided to give it a whirl. I am glad I did.
The writer and director, Steven Gomez, transports us to a futuristic, but familiar, world where a Marine unit is being deployed at an isolated and secured island to undergo elitist training.
But all is not as it seems.
With communications to the outer world down, and the quickening realisation of being pitted against highly advanced enemy practice targets, the unit must use all their trained skills and bonds of trust to win this real-life battle of survival.
Furthermore, there is a suspect character within the group. Mills. A cyborg, from the Harbinger Corporation, sent to oversee the training. Can she be trusted? What does she know? But finally, and most importantly, can she identify the formidable enemy they have been tasked to destroy?
With the tense and gripping atmosphere, intriguing story-line, and quality acting and direction, Kill Command (2016), is a film worthy the honour of becoming a physical copy on my ever-growing DVD shelves.
The combat scenes were particularly excellent! The changing dynamics of the technological opposition forced the military unit into constant adaption, allowing for varying situations (like moments of command and assertion, heightened stress, or calm and assurance). The movie was slow paced at start, but the subtle foreshadows of future danger were ample enough to keep one watching. In fact, I was worried that looking away from screen too long might mean missing one of the cryptic clues. All roles were also well accomplished, with emotional involvement to characters being aided from this. My favourite performances were those given by Thure Lindhardt (Captain Bukes) and Mike Noble (Lance Corporal Goodwin). Lindhardt delivered Bukes with the perfect mixture of determination and spirit for cause aside the right level of coldness that comes from ordered thought and collective thinking, thus turning a somewhat unlikeable entry character into a man that you are really routing for come final scenes. Noble, though not filling a leading role, had an assortment of conditions to conform too and did so with more than adequate affect. His character seemed helpful, honourable, and as the youngest of the last survivors, one couldn’t help but develop a soft spot for him.
My hindrance though, is that the film would have benefited from additional viewing time. This would allow for more combat scenes (which as noted, were enjoyable). And further character development via addition of more personal-relations scenes, or for yet further exploration into the technological aspects of the machines (the more science and philosophy in movies the better!). On the other hand, too many of these moments may hinder the films vague but tense direction. Perhaps not knowing is one of the things that makes this film work. It doesn’t attempt to tell all but rather offers just enough to spark the viewers imagination into wondering more of the characters backstories, their current internal thoughts, and the external situations surrounding them.
In conclusion… A good film that I would watch again. It’s missing some of the character development to get it into that 8*> range but, overall, it delivers what it promises; a mashed up sci-fi thriller warfare scenario. It has story-depth, quality acting, cool visual effects, and the potential to spark the imagination. Have a watch a see what you think!
Thank you for reading.
*** If you also enjoy films within the sci-fi/military/horror genre I would further recommend Prometheus (2012), District 9 (2009), and the 90’s classic, Starship Troopers (1997). Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Or if you have any films for recommendation I’d love to hear, so give me message 😊