The sci-fi genre is probably one of the most complicated out there to get right. There are so many variables in bringing together the perfect sci-fi film that most of them end up being pretty bad. The latest, The Machine is looking to bring something new to the genre, but does it have all the components needed to stand out or will it lose power before it is able to execute its program?
The Machine follows two AI engineers who create the first ever self-aware artificial intelligence. A veteran engineer is hoping to use the technology to help his diseased daughter, but when the Ministry of Defense take over and take the research to the next level teaching it to kill while in a nearly indestructible body. At first this movie moves a bit slow and looks like it may fall into the realm of most of the other sci-fi films like this, but thankfully it finds some footing eventually. This film uses the classic sci-fi formula to use a slow build as opposed to throwing everything in your face which will likely not work for everyone. The story doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, but manages to give it a classic feel while keeping things current. The effects are pretty well done which is rare with films like this that come straight to video. They have a lot here, but still use some of the less is more approach until later in the story. When they finally unleash the deadly machine she is pretty cool to watch and sports some great action sequences, but sadly there just isn’t enough of it. By the time it finally gets to the great action aspects of the film it is all coming to an end and sorely underutilized. This doesn’t hurt the film in anyway it actually speaks for the coolness of it all and is one aspect that would have welcomed more of it.
While it doesn’t quite raise up to the level of the sci-fi classic Blade Runner that focuses on a somewhat similar idea, it does manage to stand out on its own to create something cool to watch. This isn’t an action packed film, but takes a familiar tone and does something unique that is sure to please most sci-fi fans. Judge for yourself when ‘The Machine hits stores on June 17th.