Friday, June 16, 2017

Kill Switch

There's an interesting set-up in Kill Switch that sadly get lost by the one-note gimmick of the film's first-person presentation. While the flashbacks pull back and allow scenes to unfold naturally, every scene taking place in the present is shot like a first-person shooter (which becomes even more obvious once our protagonist starts to pick up weapons). Had director Tim Smit been more interested in making hard-core sci-fi the results could have been more compelling.

The premise of screenwriters Charlie Kindinger and Omid Nooshin's script is a company has found a cheat for clean energy. Their new invention will create a parallel Earth from which we will be able to steal all the resources we need. Will Porter (Dan Stevens) is aggressively approached by the group to join their team. And when things go wrong, like vehicles from the parallel Earth dropping from the sky through portals, it's up to Will to travel to the other side and set things right. And surprise, the world isn't devoid of sentient life as the scientists hypothesized. Instead it's full of doppelgangers (including coworkers Bérénice Marlohe and Tygo Gernandt) in a mirror reality devolving into chaos.

The film includes a subplot involving Will's sister (Charity Wakefield) and nephew (Kasper van Groesen) which, like most of the film, teases a depth the script sadly lacks. Instead the characters are used primarily as a hamfisted plot device to push Will into making some questionable decisions. The underdeveloped sci-fi elements are examples of missed opportunities more than anything else. Sci-fi fans and gamers may enjoy pieces of the film (as I did at times), but sadly you won't get much more in the way of entertainment than sitting on the couch watching someone else play an only mildly interesting video game.

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