Robot Wars Fires Blanks With Special Effects

Robot Wars Film William L. Stewart, Breaking Glas Pictures, High Octane Pictures. Robot Wars

Director: William L. Stewart 

Writer: William L. Stewart

Release Date:  April 11th, 2017

Release Format: Video On Demand

MPAA Rating:

Genre: Sci-Fi

Running Time: 1h 35min


In a dystopian near future, a corporate heist goes wrong and the team members struggle to survive a desperate escape through the apocalyptic sprawl with their stolen prize, a weapon of unspeakable power. As they navigate the the urban wasteland, they must contend with barbaric gangs, corporate death squads and the terrifying truth about the weapon they have stolen.



Found footage films are nothing of a new film concept. Yet, as with most stylized concepts, found footage films has seen a decline over the years. Most of these productions arrive straight to video on demand platforms. This is a contrast from found footage films targeting cinemas outlets.

Hollywood, in particular, BlumHouse Productions, have strayed away from the found footage concept. Big studio houses are now exploring traditional delivery of Horror and Sci-Fi. Indie filmmakers worldwide are aiming to reinvigorate the found footage style. Incorporating first-person shooter (FPS) elements rose the stock value for this genre.

In 2015 Ilya Naishuller directed an adrenaline rich film with high production value. The film delivered a perfect marriage of video game aesthetics and film. Naishuller opened the door to a new exploration of the found footage technique. A slate of films soon followed in emulating the video games feel and film.

Robot Wars is the latest entry into this developing field in hard sci-fi production. By attaching video cameras onto the lead actor audiences get a first-person view of the action. This type of visual storytelling puts the viewer into the developing narrative. While the execution may seem easy other elements needed to support a reality film engine.

Robot Wars is not to be confused with Albert Band’s 1993 Sci-Fi release. There is also a long-running television series with the same title. According to poster image featured on IMDb the original title for William L. Stewart’s film was Killbox. William L. Stewart Robot Wars


Critique Rundown





Originality / Redefining

Practical Effects

Special Effects

Stewart penned an intriguing story line. Robot Wars would work well in literary or animated film format. The influencing factor to the film is the narrative. The apocalyptic future, technology overpowering man, and rebellion entwine for good entertainment.

With relation to the antagonizing force, there’s adequate energy offered. Audiences will connect with the urgency to defeat the enemies presented in the film. Robot Wars has a basic approach to conspiracy and intrigue.

Another selling point is seeing the world from the perspective of the protagonist. This execution is prevalent in first person shooters video games. Yet, in Robot Wars the fusion of this filmmaking approach has good execution, to an extent. William L. Stewart Robot Wars


Robot Wars lacked with severity in conceptual design and execution. Between the acting and special effects, the film crumbled on its creative footprint. Stewart had a great idea in script form yet the translation to film much impact got lost.

From the opening frame, audiences have an introduction to poor CGI. A render of a bipedal robotic enforcer appears removed from a 90’s video game. The opening scene between interrogator and prisoner plays without emotional. The same approach becomes instilled within scenes that follow. A slate of cliché rich scenarios and uninviting action further mangle Robot Wars.

Fight, combat sequences appear ridiculous almost comedic. For instance, during an escape sequence, two guards got overpowered with ease. The reaction to nearby characters to this action was anything but believable. William L. Stewart Robot Wars

In conclusion:

Robot Wars holds a strong narrative centered on mankind versus technology. The futuristic backdrop is a welcome addition in this film. Yet, the acting and CGI effects cripple this production with severity. Robot Wars stands as an example of the evolution to found-footage filmmaking.

Offering first person shooter elements transmogrified found footage films into a different state. While Robot Wars may not be up to par with execution therein lies and interesting story line to digest.

Click for information on rating metric: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive


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