Gaiam // 2011 // 178 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 20th, 2013
Its only purpose is to destroy the human race.
The Doomsday series continues and there's nothing you can do to stop it. For the uninitiated, when you see "Doomsday Series" emblazoned on a disc cover you know you can expect: something like a straight-too-TV Syfy disaster movie, except way longer and way worse.
This go-round features a unique antagonist. Instead of solar flares or metal tornadoes or lightning storms, you're getting a diabolical computer AI sewing discord among the population and threatening to end the world. Think Skynet, but less interesting.
The AI in question arose from absorbing all of the base human inclinations from the Web and turned into a destructive force driven by anonymous forum bile and livestock pornography. As such, anyone perceived to be a threat is wiped out. That means assassins are getting mysterious kill orders, the targets being hapless hackers that have some dirt on the AI. One such hacker (Keir Gilchrist) has managed to elude the AI's attacks and finds himself working with a salty FBI agent (Ryan Robbins) and a fellow hacker named Lucifer (Seth Green, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Together they formulate a way to combat the AI before it completely cleanses the planet of the vile human vermin.
What follows is essentially a road movie, as our heroes flee the creeping tech menace. To do this they get their Luddite on, tossing away cell phones, riding around in crapbox cars with no GPS and bouncing off the grid as much as possible. It's not a novel plotline, but I have to admit, it sort of worked for me. Granted, my personal pain threshold for the Doomsday Series is fairly robust; it won't take much to amuse me, compared to the hours of phlegm I've had to wade through. So, grading on that rather generous curve, yes, Delete wasn't terrible.
Also, director Steve Barron injected a good bit of style into the way he shot this thing. At time he got a bit too cute (didn't really get the "Hobbit-cam" upward-facing photography and the shaky cam was overused), but I'll take even a modicum of creativity in a genre that so often comes across as paint-by-numbers of the flimsiest sort. And having the AI run around as a scantily-clad sexpot adorned in lens flare is just trying too hard.
Still, for Delete to serve up even a few molecules of happy tidings is worthy enough of catapulting it to the top of the Doomsday Series. Then again, that's like picking your favorite intestinal worm, so proceed accordingly.
The disc: a solid 1.78:1 1080p transfer, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and a selection of cast interviews.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 178 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated