Fausto De Martini created the concept art for the SARs in the film Kill Command. (via Fausto Design)
Kill Command is set at some unspecified point in the near future (Future UK?). It opens with a synthesizer generated “SciFi drone of doom”. You know, the kind found in science fiction films from the 70s and early 80s that signaled to audiences that they are about to be treated to some gut-churning moral ambiguity.
The plot revolves around a Marine fire squad sent out on a training mission to practice fighting against military robots. These robots, are called SARs which is an acronym for Study Analyze Reprogram.
The machines reprogram and rebuild themselves according to interactions with their enemies in order to do better the next time around. They come off as precursors to the “mimint” automated weapons found in Richard K Morgan’s awesome book, “Woken Furies”.
SARs adaptable robots from Kill Command. Ready to mess you up. (via IMDB)
A technician called Mills from Harbinger Robotics, the company that manufactures the SARs, is sent to accompany the marines on their training. She is charged with investigating some anomalous behavior from the SARs and typically, the Marines don’t want her around. Shortly after their arrival at the island training facility, the situation starts to get weird... and deadly. No-one knows what’s going on, you won’t know what’s going on. Just watch and let the story play out.
British actor David Ajala plays the cybernetically enhanced sniper called Drifter in Kill Command. (via IMDB)
Despite the action, the core of the story is actually a slow burn mystery as we wait to see where loyalties lie. The movie does have some very cool elements in it, like snipers with their rifles electronically linked to implants in their eyes, man portable drones and brain augments similar to the “augs” seen in Neal Asher’s Polity series of books. We also get to see what appears to be a future revision of a V-22 Osprey troop transport.
Is this the best SF movie ever? Absolutely not. But it does seem to be extremely difficult to make truly bulletproof SciFi, to build a story and a world that an experienced SciFi audience can say to themselves, “yeah ok, I’ll buy into it”. I am definitely a snobby and experienced consumer of all things SciFi and I liked it. I’d say it was about a B- effort. They could have budged that grade a bit if the story had been developed a bit more. You will see what I mean after you watch it.
Note the similarity in design cues with the Harbinger symbol. (via Synthetic Dreamer)
As a final thought, the Harbinger Robotics symbol looks a whole lot like the Weyland-Yutani logo from the Aliens series of movies. Well, at a glance it does anyway. This similarity may have been intentional to associate the fictional megacorp from this film with an evil megacorp that is already established in the psyches of SciFi audiences.
3.5 out of 5.