March 31, 2015
The whole backstory of this British sci-fi family film was summarized in a few frames flashed at the very beginning. "Three years ago... the Robots invaded Earth." "The war lasted just eleven days." Then a strange robotic being with an adult female face, a little boy's body and a disembodied voice declares that they mean Earth no harm. After their study of humanity, they will leave and never come back. They only have one strict rule for the earthlings to follow during their occupation: "Stay indoors!"
The story follows a group of teenagers led by Sean Flynn (Callan McAuliffe) who defy the robots, venturing out of the safety to his home to search for his lost father. Hot in pursuit is the ruthless Robin Smythe (a hammy Ben Kingsley), a human who had allied himself with the aliens. But Smythe is distracted by his attraction to Sean's mother Kate, (and I do not blame him as Kate was played by Gillian Anderson).
When we first saw the trailer for this film, I had no plans to watch it because it looked like a low-budget B-action flick with robots and unknown young actors. Indeed it was juvenile and very old-fashioned sci-fi, like something we could have seen on TV years back. The story could have been interesting, but the execution was not good, even cheesy. The corny title alone is a red flag that this is strictly for young teens, yet even they might find the technological aspects of this film too retro to be cool.
I only watched this film when I found out that Gillian Anderson would be in it. And yes, despite twenty years that passed since she gained me as a fan as Scully in "The X-Files," Ms. Anderson never looked better. She looked so good that it was not believable that she was the mother of McAuliffe. It was just too bad that her role here was too weak and insubstantial to merit her beauty and talent.
I would have rated this film lower, but only because of Gillian Anderson, I will be a little bit more generous and give it a 4/10.