“Eyeborgs” is a post-modern sci-fi film that asks: “Who watches the watchers?”
Instead of a motley collection of costumed superheroes, the watchers in question are the titular “eyeborgs,” robots used by the government to spy on everyone. These eyeborgs range from the Q-bert-esque two-legged walking cameras to human-sized crab walkers with multiple legs and a single eye. There are other robots too, ranging from medical assistants to roving tank-like assault mechs.
Our hero, Agent Gunner (Adrian Paul), was at least partially responsible for the proliferation of these eyeborgs after a lone gunman murdered his wife and child at a playground in open daylight. If the authorities had been paying attention, he could have been stopped, and popular outrage led to a law passing eyebots in every day society. Eyeborgs are capable of assisting in arrests, which makes their authority all the more frightening.
When lone gunman Sankur (Dale Girard) attempts to assassinate punk band singer Brandon (Devin McGee), muttering about the robot conspiracy, Gunner’s curiosity is piqued. He’s one of the few people uncomfortable with the idea of eyeborgs roaming the streets. When Sankur is murdered in custody and the blame is pinned on him, Gunner realizes something is very, very wrong.
“Eyeborgs” is as much about perception as it is about privacy and civil liberties, heady stuff for a small independent film. When your primary interaction with the world is through a digital lens, whoever controls the lens controls reality.
Unfortunately, the cast isn’t quite up to snuff. Paul is passable as the ambivalent lead, but Julie Horner is pretty terrible as newscaster Ronni, spouting her words like the lead of a high school play. The special effects easily upstage them both, a credit to the film’s wise use of budget and lighting.
Given the nature of the society it chronicles, “Eyeborgs” can’t end well for its heroes. Instead it opts for an open-ended conclusion that could easily be the pilot for a series. The credits go a long way to help repair the ending, but sci-fi fans may walk away feeling unsatisfied. Your enjoyment of the film is likely a matter of perception.
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