Article 5098 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Roger Christian
Featuring Adam Cockburn, Tyler Coppin, Ralph Cotterill
Country: Australia / UK
What it is: Science fiction action
A resistance movement tries to prevent an evil robot empire from killing off six hundred people on a mining planet and replacing them with worker robots.
Every once in a while I run into movies where it seems to me that the director’s intention is to kill all interest I could possibly have in following the story. Granted, when a movie opens with an endless scene of a spaceship landing on a planet while a voice on a monitor spews out an endless stream of science-fictiony jargon, it’s off to a bad start anyway. The characters are a bunch of bland ciphers; granted, in a simple “good guys vs. bad guys” story such as this one, you don’t really need heavy character development, but it should have enough so that you at least get a sense of what you’re supposed to feel about the characters, and it fails to do that. The plot does not seem inclined to keep the viewer tuned in to what’s going on and there’s an annoying addiction to extreme close-up shots (which seems to be less from the desire for you to know the character’s faces and more to keep you from getting a good look at the sets). In the end, the movie inspired only apathy in me; for much of the time I did not know what was going on, and I cared even less. The only sequence that might catch your attention is an action sequence on a huge desert-roving truck, and that isn’t particularly well done. This one was just plain dull.