Robot Overlords is a fun British movie that plays like a distant cousin of something from Steven Spielberg’s beloved Amblin production company. It might not quite have the budget to match the big Hollywood blockbusters but it does feature some pretty strong star power in having Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley in supporting roles.
Jon Wright’s sci-fier is set in the near future when the earth has been over-run by robots and humans are forced to remain indoors under curfew. The film sees a group of teenagers,l ed by Callan McAuliffe, rage against the machine in an attempt to claim back the planet.
Shot in Northern Ireland and The Isle of Wight, Robot Overlords has a low key quality that makes it feel earthy and a little gritty. The relative low-fi quality to this gives Wright’s film a distinct ‘80s feel – and that’s hugely beneficial in this day and age of OTT CGI and fast edits. There’s also quite a fair bit of violence that will suit well with its intended teen audience. It’s not for kids who suffer from a nervous disposition.
Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley give this kid-focused film an amount of star power that’s rarely present in most UK film productions. They may not be the main roles but they bring the baggage of long careers. Certainly Anderson’s involvement in The X-Files means that the age-range of the audience has now been widened from 15 to 50. Meanwhile, Kingsley always brings a certain amount of gravitas to his roles.
Robot Overlords may not have the slick style of an A-list Hollywood production but there’s more heart and soul on display in this one movie than in an entire franchise of Transformers movies.