Kill Switch is an uninvolving, blatantly contrived, and badly executed sci-fi flick sabotaged by a first person video game style plot.
Set in a future version of the world, the video game style plot follows an experiment for unlimited energy, harnessing parallel universes, which goes wrong. Chased by drones and soldiers, pilot and physicist Will Porter (Dan Stevens) must race through an imploding world to get the Redivider box to a tower, which will save humanity, including his family, in the real world.
Kill Switch (also known as Redivider) presents its own version of a video game style movie, a method that was first done by Hardcore Henry with head mounted Go Pros.
The movie has a timely premise and tweaked its plot to overcome the problem inherent to its format. It used flashbacks without the first person POV to present a story. So Kill Switch does have something going on rather than some cyborg running around to some yet to be known destination.
The visual effects is not as impressive as big budgeted Hollywood films, but its decent enough. The production design makes an effort to create convincing set pieces.
Unfortunately as the plot progresses Kill Switch just ends up sabotaging itself. The entire movie is built around a video game style plot at the expense of storytelling.
The underused cast is stuck with underdeveloped avatars in a quest. You have a physicist on a time-limited mission who ignores bikes. He rides vehicles later on only to stage action sequences with assault drones that have the aim of storm troopers. There’s no one to care about or pose as a significant threat.
The villain is simplistic and conveniently incompetent. You get another shady corporation with seemingly good intentions wrapped around a bad idea. The science is so hokey that even a person with Wikipedia knowledge of the parallel universe will see it as bullshit. There are also underground rebels, but they’re just used as a plot device.
With a first person POV the movie needs its hero, so the plot ends up being blatantly contrived and predictable. Will is conveniently spared from bullets and explosions. The action here is forgettable and unengaging. Most of the time Will just reacts to stuff around him and runs.
The result is a B-movie with a half-baked script that attempts to cash in on a trend but fails horribly. The worst part here is that without the video game style plot that’s attached to a first person POV, Kill Switch has potential.
Sacrificing one world for another for human survival is a potent idea. There are ethical and moral dilemmas that its reliable cast can tackle. If they don’t want a thinking movie, they can still deliver an enjoyable action/sci-fi flick without being limited by video game tropes. Unfortunately, the makers behind Kill Switch just wants to make money out of novelty.
My Rating: 3/10