He’s sent back to training, but he’s really on a secret mission, working with Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie). Like Harp, he’s black, and like Harp, he swears a bit. Unlike Harp, he’s a cyborg – “Fourth generation biotech and I’ll give you 60 seconds to deal with it.”
As they leave the base, they witness a few soldiers insulting a more obvious robot soldier – those stupid guys are called “Gumps”, get it? – and Leo looks sadly. Once back in Eastern Europe, and looking for a madman named Victor Koval (what did I tell you about the names) who is looking for some nuclear codes (the more it changes in the movies semi-hacky war / espionage), Leo demonstrates some advantages of not being human. He operates with a kind of realpolitik – does not act out of sentiment, remains focused on the immediate. Or so it seems. “I have the ability to break the rules,” he told Hart. By the way, he loves Hart because of his drone decision – says he needs someone who can ‘think outside the box’. Paradoxically, however, he told Hart, “Maybe humans aren’t emotional enough, Lieutenant.
Directed in a not-quite-chaotic vivid cinematic style by Mikael Håfström from a script by Rowan Athale and Rob Yescombe, the film waits a good 50 minutes before showing Leo as a real fight. machine but don’t go too far. Yes, he can kick multiple asses in a hurry, but he doesn’t run like a model Robert Patrick Terminator or anything. (Glenn Close in “Hillbilly Elegy” wouldn’t be impressed.) As far as brain endowments go, although he’s in Eastern Europe, Leo doesn’t have to be as much of a super linguist as you’d expect. of a robot because in THIS Eastern Europe, all but very few speak perfect English by default.
The fact that both characters are black is a red herring; race doesn’t really figure here, even as a metaphor. Instead, the film’s plot and the interaction of the two characters focus on the robot’s true mission and the conclusions his autonomous robotic thinking has led him to. When Leo introduces Hart to an Irish “resistance” fighter, the lieutenant begins to suspect that, although the product of American ingenuity, Leo may have intentions very contrary to American orders. And indeed, it turns out that Leo, like Hebrew National, is determined to respond to a higher authority, with which fans of “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan” will be quite familiar.
So we’re treated to almost every cliché in the book, with dialogues like “Sometimes you have to get dirty to see real change” and “Humans could learn to do better” and a countdown in big red letters at the end. climax of the film. The visuals are okay, the cast is better than decent, and that’s it, folks.
Now playing on Netflix.