Review: Pull the Plug on ‘Kill Switch’

Do you have one of those friends that always wants to show you something cool on a video game and leaves you watching him play for hours on end? Have you ever experienced how frustrating it is to have no control over what you are seeing happen on screen? If you answered yes, then you may have just watched Kill Switch, the latest from Saban Films.

The basic plot behind Kill Switch centers on an energy project to tap into the resources of a created world referred to as “the echo” that will save humanity. Dan Stevens (Legion, The Guest) stars as Will Porter, a man brought into the program by Abigail Vos (Berenice Marlohe, Skyfall). When the program catastrophically fails, it’s up to Dan to save the world. What transpires is mostly in first person (like you are playing a poorly constructed video game) with flashback sequences that oddly try to fill in the gaps.

If that seems like a thin plot, then you’ve quickly discovered one of the many problems with Kill Switch. The script is written by Charlie Kindinger and Omid Nooshin. While I know that writing a video game script requires a great deal of talent, writing a movie is vastly different. Blending the two is an oddity at best and the end result here is incredibly poor. This is the debut for Kindinger while Nooshin has a few shorts and one other feature film to his credit. They are both young talent looking for that big break. Unfortunately, Kill Switch isn’t it.Somewhere in this mess lies a potentially interesting story. However, it is poorly executed and convoluted. A better script would have helped Kill Switch. There are so many plot holes in this script that you feel as if there is missing content somewhere. Why is Will looking after his sister and her son? What is this illness that the boy has? What is the reason behind the suit other than to add to the video game feel? Do we even care about any of this by the time the movie thankfully ends at 90 minutes?

Kill Switch is the directorial debut of Tim Smit, who has worked previously as a visual effects supervisor for several films. It’s obvious that Smit’s strength is in the visual effects field but as a director, he has a long way to go. Here, the CGI and visual effects are okay but nothing you haven’t already seen before in other films or on TV. There are only a handful of scenes not in first person and while I acknowledge that found footage and first person are not personal favorite genres of mine, I don’t think they lend well to displaying a person’s true talents. That said, I can’t judge what kind of director Smit truly is or has the capability of becoming. I just know that there is very little talent displayed in Kill Switch.

I cannot recommend Kill Switch in any format. It is honestly one of the worst and most boring films I’ve ever witnessed. There are no redeeming factors aside from the hope that this kills the first person film genre. I’m giving 10% for Kill Switch is simply acknowledging the effort everyone put into making it, even though it was definitely a misguided project.

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