The Machine (2014)

The Machine (2014)

The Machine 2014Starring: Caity Lotz, Toby Stephens, Denis Lawson, Sam Hazeldine, Pooneh Hajimohammadi

Directed By: Caradog W. James

Written By: Caradog W. James

Rating: R (US) Running Time: 1 hr 30 min

Two Cents:

The Machine is ninety minutes long, and the first five minutes of this film are superb. A soldier with a gruesome head injury, sits unresponsive until a tap on a futuristic tablet turns on an implant in his brain, and like Pinocchio, a spell is cast and the young man wakes up. An eerie glow emanating from his eyes. It’s a great scene, and had me on the edge of my seat truly excited to see what this fascinating movie had to offer.

I was however, very quickly disappointed.

What followed was truly a mess, both in story structure and character development. Tell me, why would anyone put an untested artificial intelligence inside a machine designed for combat? I mean seriously, if it were me, the thing would start its life living inside something I created with Technic-Lego! Where the worst thing it could do is drop a piece of itself on the floor and wait for me to step on it. But no, these ‘scientists’ place a child-like brain, barely cognizant of right and wrong inside a bullet proof android, and then treat it like crap!

What starts out as a fascinating take on the possibilities of human computer cooperation, and the definition of life, quickly degenerates into a stupid bloody one-sided battle. Which in all honesty could have worked as a slickly filmed action movie if any of the character motivations logically lead the story in that direction. But they don’t, and there’s a frustrating disconnection here between what each character wants, and the decisions they make to achieve those goals.

Movie Prep:

This movie cost around one million dollars, so I was surprised how good it looked. The visual effects are very decent, and the action is well filmed and edited. The movie earns its R rating due to some moments of violence and bad language. If you’re looking for futuristic android battles, you’ll have a long wait before the action truly gets going. Those looking for serious science fiction could probably just watch the first five minutes and leave it at that.

Best Format:

Despite its low-budget, the money seems to have been used wisely, and this film is nicely photographed. A HD viewing at home is probably the best way to watch this film.

Worst Element:

The absolutely worst element in The Machine is the woefully underwritten villain. The military base commander, Thomson (Denis Lawson), the quintessential two-dimensional bad guy.

References: IMDB

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