Zone 414
Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Zone 414 is a stinker

Andrew Baird makes his feature-directing debut in Saban Films, Zone 414. Guy Pearce, Matilda Lutz, and Travis Fimmel star in the sci-fi thriller set in Zone 414, a dangerous, dark colony of humanoids known as “the city of robots.” The colony’s creator, Marlon Veidt (Fimmel), hires private investigator David Carmichael (Pearce) to track down his missing daughter. 

David teams up with Jane (Lutz), a highly advanced A.I. equipped with the same technology as her fellow humanoids, but with all human beings’ emotions, feelings, and dreams. They travel through the city, uncovering clues and a crime that questions the origins and true purpose behind the city of artificial humans.

When we first meet David, the story’s hero, he’s just completed his latest assignment. Veteran comic book writer Brian Edward Hill scripts Zone 414, and from the onset, it’s clear that the writer wanted to make his version of the Ridley Scott classic Blade Runner. Naturally, Guy Pearce is pulling his acting style from the cop on the edge handbook. Pearce’s dialogue in nearly every scene gives the vibes of “I’m only here for a paycheck” or a contractual obligation.

Travis Fimmel (in unique makeup) is having a grand time portraying Marlon Veidt, who may or may not have ill intentions for hiring David. Matilda Lutz was somewhat impressive as an android prostitute named Jane. However, the script and Baird’s direction never fully explore the interesting concept of androids being allowed to interact (i.e., have sex) freely. A scene early in the film explores this angle, and perhaps if Hill’s script focused solely on that, the result would be better.

First-time director Andrew Baird’s inexperience shows, as the film just seems to go through the motions. I do get what he was trying to do. However, with a weak script, his vision can’t reach its potential. Zone 414 may find fans who are deep in sci-fi, but everyone should steer clear.

Final Grade D-

Zone 414 is in Theaters, on Digital and On Demand September 3, 2021

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