You have to commend writer-director David Hewlett for making Debug. The film takes its cue from some great science fiction movies (Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix) mixed with a few of the ‘Q’ episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He attempts to weave these into something that feels fresh, but he fails. At least he gave it a shot. Hewlett was hindered by his budget and by his young cast. He probably could have pulled it off if he’d attempted to age-up his characters. What he’s left with is a teen-focused film that teens will simply have no interest in.
Debug features a group of teenage space convicts charged with debugging a spaceship they discover floating through space. However, things get off to a bad start when the ship’s artificial intelligence (Jason Momoa) fights back. This leads to the cast getting killed in an imaginative, if unspectacular ways.
David Hewlett is clearly a man who loves his science (he has starred in quite a bit as an actor) and he has some solid moments hidden in this Canadian cheapie. There’s an impressive panning shot of the film’s central location that looks good, even if the CGI is of low quality. Game of Thrones star (and future Aquaman in Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice) David Momoa also seems to enjoy himself as Iam, the film’s evil A.I. system. It’s a shame that there’s not a great deal for him to do.
Movies like Debug aren’t really bad, they just come across as a little pointless. You’ll watch it and wonder why it was ever produced. It doesn’t make a big statement and it’s not groundbreaking on a story or visual level. It’s an interesting way for a director to learn a few skills on a technical level, but this is never going to be high on the list of anyone’s career highlights.