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Kill Switch on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital

Manufacturer: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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Kill Switch on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Lionsgate"Starring breakout actor Dan Stevens and featuring video-game inspired visual effects and audio commentary, see what happens when the technology designed to save humanity threatens to destroy it. In the future world, a physicist’s experiment to harness unlimited energy goes wrong. Chased by drones and soldiers, Will Porter must race through an imploding world and retrieve the Redivider box to save his family — and all of humanity!" That is the official description for Kill Switch, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a NFR copy for review.

At some point in Earth's fictional future, a company called Alterplex develops a new technology that will provide humanity with unlimited energy. With the aid of NASA astronaut and scientist Will Porter (Dan Stevens), they create a mirror copy of the Universe that contains an alternate Earth called The Echo. Utilizing a huge antenna-like tower, matter from The Echo is transferred to Earth and converted to energy. Of course, not all goes as planned, because The Echo is supposed to be devoid of life, but instead it's an exact copy of the Earth complete with the same exact people and an energy tower of their own. As the two planets try to extract matter from one another, both start to fall apart. Will Porter is tasked with going to The Echo and hitting the "Kill Switch" on their tower before it's too late.

Unfortunately, just as the title of the film basically gives the story away, the plot itself is very simple and easy to figure out. What we're left with is something that you might see in the campaign mode of a videogame with first-person segments interspersed with third-person flashbacks. Personally, I think the film could be better without the third-person scenes, similar to what was done with the film Hardcore Henry, which was a pretty decent flick. Kill Switch provides some nicely done visual effects and has some fairly engaging action scenes, but the simplicity of the story and the lack of character development keep it from being successful.

The Blu-ray includes a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encode with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Since much of the flashback material depicts times before things go bad, scenes provide lighter colors and finer detail. Whereas the first-person scenes are more dark because of the devastation happening on The Echo. The first-person scenes provide some nicely done POV effects. The Blu-ray also provides an excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack that includes very good use of all channels, especially during the first-person scenes.

There are a couple of bonus features including Audio Commentary with Director Tim Smit, as well as a featurette entitled The Visual Effect: Inside the Director's Process, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.

I think with a bigger budget and a more detailed plot (and possibly a different name), Kill Switch could be an entertaining film, similar in scale to Hardcore Henry. Unfortunately, even with the decent visual effects, the third-person flashbacks and lack of depth make it a rental at best.

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