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Kill Switch (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 19, 2017 by  



If you are in the mood for a popcorn sci-fi action film, then “Kill Switch” may be to your liking.  Just don’t come into the film expecting anything to deep.

Images courtesy of © 2017 Lions Gate Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Kill Switch

FILM RELEASE: 2017

DURATION: 92 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:35:1 aspect ratio, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH

COMPANY: Lions Gate

RATED: R

RELEASE DATE: August 22, 2017


Directed by Tim Smit

Screenplay by Charlie Kindinger, Omid Nooshin

Produced by Tim Smit, Sander Verdonk, Denis Wigman, Patrick Chu

Executive Producer: Shanan Becker, Bill Bromiley, Russell Geyser, Al Munteanu, Thibaut Niels, Clay Pecorin, Milan Popelka, Aaron Ryder, Ness Saban

Co-Producer: Michael Jackman

Music by Dries Bijlsma, Rob Peters

Cinematography by Jacco van Ree

Edited by Wouter van Luijn

Casting by Rose Wicksteed

Production Design by Romke Faber

Art Direction by Nora van der Steeg

Set Decoration by Steven Van Der Zalm


Starring:

Dan Stevens as Will Porter

Berenice Marlohe as Abigail Vos

Charity Wakefield as Mia

Tygo Gernandt as Michael

Gijs Scholten van Aschat as Reynard

Kasper van Groesen as Donny

Mike Libanon as Hugo


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!


Tim Smit has made a name for himself as a visual effects supervisor for the crime drama “Tiger House” and “Last Passenger” and this time, Smit makes his directorial debut for the American-Dutch sci-fi action film “Kill Switch”, which Smit is also the visual effects supervisor.

Co-written by Charlie Kindinger and Omid Nooshin, the film stars Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”, “The Guest”, “Beauty and the Beast”), Berenice Marlohe (“Skyfall”, “Twin Peaks”, “Song to Song”), Charity Wakefield (“Wolf Hall”, “The Player”, “Sense & Sensibility”) and Tygo Gernandt (“Godforsaken”, “Black Death”, “Dokter Tinus”).

The film is set in the future and physicist and former NASA pilot Will Porter (portrayed by Dan Stevens) is awaiting for the project that he’s working on for Alterplex Energy, a power company to take place.  The project is to harness unlimited energy and with his sister Mia (portrayed by Charity Wakefield) and her son Donnie (portrayed by Kasper van Groesen) and all looked as if the project is working wonderfully.

The next scene begins to show Will being recruited by Alterplex and being interviewed by Abigail Vos (portrayed by Berenice Marlohe) for her boss, Reynard (portrayed by Gijs Scholten van Aschat). And how he is offered a lot of money to work for Alterplex Energy and also providing amazing benefits for Will bu also for his sister and nephew.

The film then jumps forward as Will making the jump to Echo, a mirror universe of Earth and seeing if Echo has received any damage.  And what Will finds is a quiet city with dead people all lying on the ground.  Will learns that Altiplex has pretty much taken control of the world and unleashed their security drones upon the city.

Also, an underground group has formed trying to stop Alterplex since the company turned on a tower, which has led to strange anomalies in the city.  Which includes things being sucked out from the other world and vehicles or things being dropped in Echo.

As Will moves towards the anomaly, he carries a device thinking that it will balance the power between the two universes and stop the anomalies.

Next thing you know, he sees humans fighting against the drones and finds the underground rebels going after him.  As one of the men are about to kill him, Will finds out one of the men is former Alterplex Security Michael (portrayed by Tygo Gernandt).

Michael, who is now with the underground rebels asks Will, how he survived?  As the drones come, they go to see Will and Will tells the drones that he is an employee with Alterplex and shows the Alterplex drone a device that Alterplex has given him.  The drones then say he is under arrest and that Alterplex is coming to arrest him.

But then the tower immediately actives and sucks the drones and many birds in and suddenly drops a train on top of the drones, destroying them.

Will finds out that he was killed (and is shocked that people think he was dead) is then joined by Alterplex’s Abby and she finds out that he is carrying a “Redivider”.

We are then taken back to various flashbacks and to see why Will is carrying a Redivider and what the true purpose of the Redivider is all about.


VIDEO:

“Kill Switch” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). While the shots are primarily shot indoors, the film utilizes a lot of visual effects and while the film leans more on a cool side, the visual effects works wonderfully.  And because the film is shot mostly in first person, almost like a video game, you are seeing the film as Will Porter and visual effects are heavily incorporated.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Kill Switch” is presented in English5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio  and features crystal clear dialogue and many action sequences enveloping the surround channels.  As one can expect from a sci-fi action film, from drones firing off on Will and friends to the portal turning on and off and seeing objects or vehicles crashing down, the lossless audio is fantastic.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Kill Switch” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Tim Smit.
  • The Visual Effect: Inside the Director’s Process – (4:51) Tim Smit talks about directing a film and also being in charge of visual effects.

EXTRAS:

“Kill Switch” comes with the Blu-ray and an UltraViolet HD code.


Once in awhile, you hear about sci-fi action films that are created with the smallest budget but yet looks like a film made with a significant amount of money.

“Kill Switch” is a film that benefits from the experience of talented visual effects director Tim Smit, who makes his directorial debut.

Featuring a small cast and a plethora of visual effects, “Kill Switch” revolves around scientist and former NASA pilot Will Porter, who was recruited by Alterplex Energy, a power company that built a tower that taps into unlimited quantum energy.

Because of his skills, Alteplex sends Will Porter to take a device to a mirror universe of Earth known as Echo.

But something is eerily wrong in Echo as people are found killed, surviving rebels are fighting against Alterplex Security who pretty much rules over the land and people he knew are looking at him weird and telling him how he came back to life, because he died.

All Will knows is that his mission is to take a device to enable a power transfer between both universes in order to set things right because the tower is sending objects flying and dropping major objects from above.  Will believes his mission is to fix this problem with the device, not knowing that the device a redivider a.k.a. “kill switch”, a last resort to destroy a universe.

Showcased in a first-person viewpoint from Will and flashbacks showcasing Will getting his job at Alterplex and how he meets Alterplex’s Abigail Vos and former Alterplex Security, Michael. A big part of the flashbacks focus on Will trying to take care of his sister Mia and her special needs son, Donny.

While the film is fascinating and no doubt showcases Tim Smit’s talent as a visual effects director (in a special feature, you learn how Smit did a lot of the visual effects himself), the film has to credit Smit’s talent for taking a normal world and make it look post-apocalyptic.  Where humans are no longer living normally and Alterplex drones are flying around shooting at people.

If anything, “Kill Switch” is similar to a video game that is more visual eye candy, “Kill Switch” is a sci-fi action film that is also visual candy and a popcorn action film that doesn’t rely too much on its story but on its action/visual effects sequences.

The Blu-ray looks very good and the lossless audio definitely utilizes the surround channels and LFE for the action sequences.  Special features are primarily an audio commentary and short visual effects featurette.

Overall, some people may find the first-person perspective  of “Kill Switch” to be a bit jarring, as it primarily is Will’s focalpoint, going along with his risky mission and helping out Michael and Abigail, but also coming across the drones or human rebels and trying to avoid being killed.  The film does have a video game feel to it and the most ardent cinema fans may not like the film’s visual presentation but in some way, it does work to the film’s advantage, because today’s FPS video game generation may find this type of visual style to be something that they are quite familiar with.  So, you’ll either enjoy or dislike this film.

If you are in the mood for a popcorn sci-fi action film, then “Kill Switch” may be to your liking.  Just don’t come into the film expecting anything to deep.






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