Review: Syfy Films’ ‘Hover’ imagines a future where the worst threat is killer drones
Given the state of the world today, a technology-run-amok thriller about killer drones like “Hover” might feel quaint. The worst things we have to fear are flying robots? Great!
But this characteristically low-budget, and low-interest, offering from Syfy Films does have one thing that distinguishes it from its assembly line brethren: star Cleopatra Coleman also wrote the script. The Australian actress, best known for the dearly departed post-apocalyptic Fox comedy “The Last Man on Earth,” imbues a simplistic narrative with just enough melancholy moments and modest world-building details to suggest she might have something more to offer the sci-fi genre down the line.
Even with an actress writing the script, characters are not “Hover’s” strong suit. Coleman’s role as Claudia, an end-of-life caregiver who helps people “transition” to the afterlife, isn’t much more than a stock heroine. She uncovers a corporate conspiracy after the death of her mentor (Craig muMs Grant), but her actions are largely reactive and the writing favors exposition over engaging storytelling.
Supporting roles given to Shane Coffey as a resistance ally, Leo Fitzpatrick as Claudia’s corrupt boss and the reliable Beth Grant as a feisty farm owner are all paper thin. And director Matt Osterman doesn’t bring any suspense or pizzazz to the limited action sequences.
By the time the film reaches a third act low on logic and heavy on exploding heads, it’s clear that “Hover” never had the right parts to take flight.
Running time: 87 minutes
Playing: Starts June 29, Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood; also on VOD July 3
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