Cinematic Releases: Kill Switch (2017) - Reviewed

I am a huge fan of sci-fi and even if a film is low-budget, if it has a great foundation I am usually quite forgiving of other negative aspects. 

The premise of Kill Switch is rather interesting--scientists on Earth have built a machine that taps into quantum energy and provides limitless power for the planet to use. Unfortunately, this power is being syphoned from a mirror universe (called The Echo) and it is destroying it. It reminds me of an Isaac Asimov novel from the '70s called The Gods Themselves which has an almost identical situation going on with one world using another world for energy and in doing so endangering their own. All that being said, it's a somewhat obscure book so this is most likely a fresh idea for the majority of audiences.

Dan Stevens plays Will Porter, a physicist that is employed by the government to infiltrate the mirror universe and figure out what is going on. So far so good, right? The issue lies solely with the writing and acting in this film as everyone who isn't Dan Stevens is absolutely terrible. When Porter goes into The Echo the film shifts to a first-person POV and we follow him as he traverses around getting into dangerous situations. I don't inherently dislike first-person, but it's not used well in this movie. Unlike something like Hardcore Henry, which has the protagonist doing death-defying stunts with inventive camera angles, Kill Switch just looks like you are watching a Let's Play of a bland FPS on YouTube. There are robots and whatnot, but the CGI ranges from passable to horrible so it's never believable at any point.

Is this where I'm supposed to stick it?

Can we talk about sci-fi/comic book movies and giant laser beams that shoot towards the sky? If I have to see another 'effin blue laser super weapon, I am going to puke. It's the most overused trope in blockbuster movies nowadays. Please. Just stop using them. At least pick a different color. One positive is the musical score. It's a really cool electronic synth-based sound that perfectly fits the action on the screen.

This has the ingredients for a good movie, but the execution is just not up to snuff. On paper the story is great but the editing and the pacing are too choppy to keep a good flow going. There are much better sci-fi films out there. It's a good try though and with some refinement could have been an underground hit.

--Michelle Kisner