Movie Review: Screamers (1995)

Synopsis: In the year 2078, mining company New Economic Block discovers an energy source on a distant planet. However, when the mining practice creates toxic pollution, the scientists and miners form an alliance and go on strike, eventually prompting a war. Five years later, with both sides in a stalemate thanks in part to the "Screamers," self-replicating group of killer machines created by the Alliance, the Alliance commander receives an offer for a peace negotiation from the NEB. However, while traveling to meet with the other side, learns the Screamers have evolved and nobody is safe from them.

Who's in it? The movie stars Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin, Andy Lauer and Ron White.

Review: I came across this movie on Amazon Prime yesterday morning and my wife and I ended up watching it while having dinner last night. I wasn't really expecting a whole lot from the movie, but I thought the premise would at least mean it would be somewhat entertaining. However, the film just failed to connect with me.

Simpler is often better when it comes to films in the science fiction/thriller genre. That is something this movie's creators should have considered and chosen a lane to stay in.

A movie about killer robots that let out a high-pitched scream before popping out of the sand to cut you to pieces could have been entertaining. In fact, the movie was somewhat entertaining when that was the case early on. Instead, the writers tried to do too much by introducing evolved versions of those robots that looked human. That part of the movie probably would have been fine had it been introduced earlier and allowed the suspense to build (though I'm sure they would be a bit concerned about ripping off The Thing). Waiting so long to introduce that element really never gave it an opportunity to do anything other than make the movie more complicated than it needed to be.

The end of the film was especially bad, partly because it decided to throw in the whole "so evolved, we can now fall in love" concept that honestly just didn't fit. It almost felt as though the writers were just adding scenes and ideas at the last second to fill time without taking a moment to ask if they really made sense. And to be fair even if it did make sense, the love story itself was a bit forced and introduced too late in the movie for the surprise twist to have any real emotional impact.

Final Opinion: Had the movie kept things simple and just had the machines stay in their original form, this probably wouldn't have been a great film but would have been watchable. In it's present form, it is just a movie that isn't worth watching.

My Grade: F


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