Director: Tim Smit
Cast: Dan Stevens, Bérénice Marlohe, Tygo Gernandt
Release Date: August 22, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 4/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
In the future world, a physicist’s experiment to harness unlimited energy goes wrong. Chased by drones and soldiers, Will Porter must race through an imploding world and retrieve the Redivider box to save his family — and all of humanity!
‘Kill Switch’ takes viewers into a futuristic world and accompanies physicist Will Porter (Stevens) following drastic consequences to an energy project he was involved in as he is thrust into a mirror image of the world he knows with only one clear objective. A similar, yet also drastically different version of the place he knows where anyone is a potential enemy and the company he works for also seems intent to capture him for some inexplicable reason. Lacking some important knowledge on the task he’s supposedly been set there to accomplish, Will must brave this odd replica of his own universe and activate the mysterious Redivider box is his possession before it’s too late and both worlds entirely eradicate each other.
Directed by Tim Smit (although credited as TimSmiT) who makes his directorial debut here guiding along a screenplay by Omid Nooshin (Last Passenger) and first time writer Charlie Kindinger, Smit does a decent enough job at the helm of ‘Kill Switch’ guiding along this rather dull and repetitive film to the best of his ability and additionally offering some truly exceptional effects considering what he had available to work with. The cast is comprised of a couple familiar faces and some likely less familiar and includes Dan Stevens (The Guest), Bérénice Marlohe (Skyfall), Tygo Gernandt (Black Death), Charity Wakefield (Serena), Bas Keijzer (Accused) and more who each deliver fairly competent performances for the most part in each of their respective roles.
‘Kill Switch’ certainly has a few positive elements going for it, such as a clever use of the first-person perspective for the majority of the film, in addition to a solid enough futuristic storyline and setup for our unlikely hero to be thrust into without adequate knowledge of his mission. Likely the most impressive aspect of the film is in filmmaker Tim Smit’s ability to offer some truly impressive effects without anything remotely close to a big, studio budget (something he goes into in the Blu-ray’s single Featurette which makes one appreciate even more just what he accomplished in that area alone). Unfortunately, even with these positive factors to offer, ‘Kill Switch’ becomes bogged down a great deal by its repetitive nature and the first-person perspective combined with the repeatedly similar situations quickly leaves the film feeling more like a massive video game promo and once the same type of threat and outcome is presented multiple times it quickly gets tiring and causes the viewer to start getting impatient. Before long not even the better aspects within can save it from its unending chain of dull repetitiveness without any apparent point other than to merely fill time and showcase the effects. Director Tim Smit (credited here as TimSmiT) does a competent enough job at the helm guiding the film along and providing noteworthy effects, and Dan Stevens tends to always be a pleasure and ‘Kill Switch’ is no exception. If you’re highly intrigued with the film or a fan of the first-person perspective it may be worth giving a shot when it’s available on cable or your favorite streaming provider, but I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to check this one out. Even with a number of elements in its favor, none of it can help retain your attention once things become increasingly silly and repetitive.
Overall, ‘Kill Switch’ offers a few noteworthy elements including some outstanding effects for the less than substantial budget, along with a clever enough way to utilize the first-person aspect within and a futuristic plot that fits the bill snugly enough. Nonetheless, a tendency to largely repeat the same scenarios and moments with mild differences quickly overtakes the few positive aspects and leaves the film feeling more like a painfully extended video game promo that just won’t end and as things only become increasingly more dull and repetitive, the film’s ability to hold your attention quickly dwindles a great deal. Fans of the first-person aspect and diehard fans of Dan Stevens or similar types of movies may want to give this one a whirl if they come across it at some point, but as a whole I would recommend simply passing on this one if you’re not already thoroughly intent on seeing it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Kill Switch’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty fantastic as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and smooth video presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found within. It holds up impressively even with the numerous fast paced and frequently moving first-person action sequences, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible throughout. Overall, this is a highly capable high definition video presentation that looks consistently wonderful every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack offers a crisp, clean and often fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout without any noticeable faults to be found along its course. It regularly utilizes all five available channels in order to send action effects, debris, bits of dialogue and more throughout the various speakers when appropriate and even cleverly allowing the dialogue by Will during the first-person sequences to expand to the rear channels and provide the illusion that you’re in his shoes. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers an immersive and quite active audio experience that shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Kill Switch’ includes a couple of extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director TimSmit’, in addition to a behind the scenes Featurette ‘The Visual Effect: Inside the Director’s Process With Tim Smit’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length) which takes viewers deeper into the process of bringing the film to life and the time involved in doing so.