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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Jason Momoa
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 03 November 2014

Convicted of various computer crimes, six young people are sent into deep space to decommission a dead freighter. On boarding the derelict, things start out well, but soon they discover that they are not alone and their host means to kill them all...

Debug (2014. 1 hr, 22 min, 25 sec) is a science fiction/horror story, directed by David Hewlett (Dr. Rodney McKay from Stargate Atlantis), from his own script.

Debug obviously had a modest budget to start with, that being the case, some of the set pieces still remain effective, although the repetitive white corridors, reminiscent of 2001, point to just how tight the budget was. The film does have some nice little touches and the facial display system worked particularly well.

The basic premise sees our young convicts diverted to reboot a ship. On arrival, they seem less concerned than I would that the place seems deserted, with the crew missing. So, they come up with a spiffing plan to split up and wander about. Well, I guess we can all tell where this is heading and as the body count increases it becomes plain that whilst there are no humans on board, the ship's AI is very much active and wanting to play.

Effective for what it is Debug is nevertheless a pretty generic film with the characters all fulfilling familiar roles. We have the feisty young girl, an obvious survivor, a couple who just want to get it on as if they have never heard of Michael Myers.

Much of the film is saved by Jason Momoa (Stargate Atlantis, Game of Thrones) who plays the oddly compelling killer AI, Iam. He’s obviously having a ball and paying for his new outside pool at the same time. Whilst he is good, the acting laurels have to go to Jeananne Goossen, who plays Kaida for projecting the most authentic character in the story.

For all its lack of originality, the film does work as a calling card for David Hewlett, showing that he can construct a film, within budget and not turn out a stinker. Overall, I quite enjoyed the film, even though it was always going to suffer from comparisons with bigger budget films.

You get the choice of either a 5.1 or 2.0 audio track and the picture is clean and clear. There were no extras on the disc, which was a real shame.

If I am being honest the film falls somewhere between a TV movie and a big screen film, mostly this is down to the restrictions set on it by the budget. It was worth a watch and there is enough in the film to make it feel both familiar and fresh.


Charles Packer

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