Debug, the latest offering from the Stargate series resident scientist David Hewlett, is a sci-fi horror set in the not too distant future.
A group of convicts, hackers, are tasked work removing any erroneous program or code from decommissioned source ships so that they can be recycled back into service.
This is all well and good till one group of convicts has an extra ship added to their roster, the ship in question is being controlled by a rogue artificial intelligence that is obsessed with absorbing anyone and everyone in order to become more human.
HERE BY SPOILERS, do not go on if you don’t want spoils.
Now this is a well done film, the set design is pretty good and uses the same sets over and over in the same way as the film The Cube.
With six hackers and one corrections officer to play with, the ship begins picking them off one by one in often strange and unusual ways even going so far as to administer psychotropic drugs to one guy.
The characters were (for the most part) unlikable, not because of anything in particular, but they’re criminals and you’re not meant to like them, but they still have characteristics you can relate to.
From the one guy who wants to be in charge so much that he ignores all advice from anyone who might know better, to the two convicts who keep pranking each other, everyone has some personality to them.
In fact, the only guy I really had a problem with, actually lets make that two guys I had a problem with, firstly we’ve got Capra, the corrections officer, for some reason they decided to make him the weakest character, and I completely understand that he needed a moment of weakness for his character death to occur, but getting pumped full of drugs and then becoming a walking weapon for the bad guy? That just seems rather disconnected to me.
Secondly, one of the Hackers as well, he’s actually innocent, we’re shown that he has no actual skill in hacking computers and only took the blame to save his younger brother, but you would imagine a future portrayed in a film like this might actually be able to prove whether or not someone is guilty of the digital crime for which they’re being convicted.
But what I enjoyed most was Jason Momoa playing the villain of the piece, the rogue AI by the name of Iam.
My experience of Momoa is generally limited to his playing the muscle character, being physically intimidating but in a world without a real physical presence, where he can only really let peoples own vices lead them to their doom, Momoa did a great job of being creepy and psychotic.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, I thought the set design was excellent and well used, the ship seemed to be some giant deserted behemoth, but what I would really have liked would be seeing Iam’s descent into madness, we’ve got an insane computer, but we don’t really see how it became that way.