Shockwave A.K.A. I.A. Assault (2006) [REVIEW] | Wynorski’s War Of The Worlds

I didn’t plan to do a Jim Wynorski-A-Thon when i accidentally started watching movies in my saved list that would soon abandon Amazon Prime Video (or gate themselves beyond another paywall), and i’m tired having to preface this already, but i can’t say i really wanted to see this movie that much.

Then again, i did put in the “watch for later” list because the robots in the thumbnail looked like the martian war machines in H.G. Wells’ War Of The Worlds.

Plot is sadly not as interesting, with a couple of experimental robots sporting advanced IA being carried on a plane over a desert Pacific island, plane crashes, and Navy Seals (because the OSI is busy learning not to plug the entire mainframe into a single wall socket) are sent in to recapture the robots, as they turned against the humans, and they’re getting smarter and smarter….

Script convenient criminals also happen to be arrive on the island, as they manage to get the helicopter stuck there after robbing 2 milions from a passenger cruise, but then again, the Navy (Such As) Seals might as well bring nerf guns, despite knowing the “supah” robots can be harmed only by a specific weapon. And they know because the scientist’s daughter, also a scientist and carrying on her father’s work, told me it is so.

Hell, this thing would have been resolved if they just phoned the EDF and it would have been all over in 10 minutes top by using a single soldier with rocket launcher, but then again, this is a movie that’s very observant and doesn’t recognize nor condones the practice of “reloading guns”.

If nothing else, this time we have a decent budget and slighly better acting, thanks to a fairly good cast, comprising cameos from various generations of Star Trek, mostly there to have some quick sequences with them not doing much of substance and then disappear completely for the movie, clearly not paid enough to do more in a flick like this. Understandable.

Not that these help the movie much, as Jim Wyrnoski (credited – as he often is – as Jay Andrews) once again writes and directs… like he usually does. He’s not the “worst”, far from it, he knows how to make B-movies, make them plenty, make them fast and make em cheap, as most Corman’ pupils would… but clearly not to make them good in any way. Writing especially is bad, direction isn’t good but at least you understand what’s going on and he knows how to keep attention up by having the robots kill people with cheap CG lasers, to make it bad enough to be “digestible”, but really nothing else outsides of “not boring for a crappy movie” territory. Not that you could make miracles with this premise, but you could actually do far better and work with the “increasingly intelligence” of the robots, for example.

But this isn’t the case, just isn’t, so it’s mostly pointless to lament when the only goal of movies like these by directors like this is to make trash for TV consumption, something you put on, watch the first 30 minutes, don’t bother following after the first commercial break, then you tune in later after going to the bathroom, and never felt like you missed something important. You didn’t.

Especially if you watched other movies like this by the same director, as this is basically Komodo VS Cobra (which itself is basically The Curse Of The Komodo with some variations), just lacking the “VS” between the beasts and replacing “reptiles” with “tentacular robots”; heck, even the robbers subplot is basically identical (just changing and replacing terms, once again), the ending idem, with the “office Goverment” deciding to bomb the island, there’s even a brief zombie-like scene here as well.

It avoids being a complete self-cannibalization as it builds to a different sci-fi “thing” (not a twist as it doesn’t really matter in the end) happening in the third act, since the robots don’t fight each other but actually work together, but it doesn’t amount to anything really different.

I’ve seen more egregious incompetence in other crappy movies also produced in those year by CineTel Films, like Fire Serpent, so whatever.

It’s a 4 out of 10 (or something a bit lower), if you really want a review score.

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