Total Retribution (aka: Earthkiller 2011)

Well, here we’ve got another film to watch thanks to my beloved Netflix. (estimates 1.25 stars)

How best to describe this film…
We start out following a naked woman around for about twenty minutes, during which time we see her in a stand off against two apparently military personnel who appear to have no respect for each other or training, as the two soldiers have their sights trained upon her we find out that our character is a robot, and that two sides are fighting for control of a space station.
Of course, the way we find this out is by one soldier repeatedly asking the robot (Helen) if she’s on “Our side or theirs…”, now logistically you can only answer this question if you know which side the person asking this question is on, as a scene it quickly degrades when Helen manages to steal a gun from one of the soldiers to which the first soldier says “So, you’ve got the drop on me, I’ve got the drop on you too…”, now correct me if I am wrong but by definition doesn’t “to get the drop on [someone]” mean you have them at a disadvantage?

Helen and the soldiers go separate ways, Helen quickly finds there’s some sort of cult on the station, taking over personnel, expect later we find out it’s effectively a nanovirus plague turning people into robotic killers, apart from two firefight scenes, the plague doesn’t really do much but serve as a get out of jail free card for the climax of the film.
It turns out the station houses a giant doomsday cannon that’s pointed at Earth and it needs to be destroyed so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, so Helen teams up with a group of Humans to do just that.. and she manages it, hits the self destruct button and then it turns out that the self destruct wasn’t actually a self destruct but the firing mechanism, because when building a doomsday device the best thing you can do is label the buttons badly, you don’t want someone to press “FIRE!” only to blow the station to pieces, do you?

Through out the film, human characters talk about a prophecy that humans will doom themselves and a robot will destroy the earth, talk about confusing! But it turns out that people know the prophecy is real because a robot from the future told people this, I kid you not.
Upon hearing this line my immediate thought was “Oh, so Helen, who has been doubting and questioning this religion, is going to be transported back in time and end up being that robot…” And you know how wrong I was? Not very at all.

Now for the climax, the big plan involves moving a homing beacon so an automated shuttle hits the station knocking it off target, which is great but for two things, why on earth do they have the technology to build a fully functioning humanoid robot, yet they need a big freaking homing beacon to signal a ship? The comparative technologies doesn’t match, at the very least they would have left a person on the transport to make sure nothing goes wrong.
But what is worse, as Helen is running through the station with the beacon, we’ve got the station counting down til it fires, and I kid you not the timer runs out (though you never hear the “three.. two.. one…”) and yet Helen is still walking around the station with the beacon at a leisurely pace.
Only after the countdown should have reached 0 does the transport hit the station , so the Earth should still have been hit.
And of course, then Helen goes back in time and starts everything off again while the computer repeats a message about causing a temporal anomaly.

This film was not good, scoring 2.2 on IMDB, I can completely understand why it rates so low.
We’ve got a mutating robots infection that is never explained and is played like some magical flute to get the main character where she needs to be.
We’ve got humans who refuse to explain anything til the last minute.
Those same humans when trapped in a corner refuse to think about using the robot access tunnels, because “They’re for robots..” apparently it’s a much better idea to die.
The CGI doesn’t even look finished in places, with the mutated often looking completely untextured in some scenes.

And of course my biggest bugbear, badly used timetravel elements.
The film loses nothing be removing this part, literally the film doesn’t gain anything from the prophecy and would be just as “good” if it had every aspect removed.
We get it, you’re an edgy scifi film, you’ve got robots and the end of the world, we don’t need you to murky the waters with any extra bullshit, oh wait you already did…

Finally of course, we have the poster, which shows a character and scene I’m not sure is in the film, featuring someone who is definitely not Helen, strutting along a walkway while soldiers in full tactical gear pose behind her shooting off into the distance.

Really, the only positive thing I have to say is that the set wasn’t all bad, on par with budget 90’s productions.
Don’t waste time on this, I’ve already done it for you, skip right to the moral outrage and demands for a refund.


I am Silent, part time programmer and full time narcissist, gamer, geek and man on a mission.

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