Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter (2017)

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An epic indie sci-fi journey takes the viewer on a post-apocalyptic Earth with one woman’s war with the army in charge of the planet.

Earth has been hit by an apocalyptic explosion. The cities have fallen under the control of the Scourge, a hyper-weaponized robot army. For Sienna, an arms dealer, it is about both losing her boyfriend Skullcrusher, which triggers her recent rebellious streak much to the chagrin of her charge Ralston, who hides a secret about Sienna. When Sienna decides to leave Earth upon learning Skullcrusher has been imprisoned in an intergalactic prison, she is forced to be joined by techie expert Blister.

Together with Blister’s robot Hoagland, they successfully release Skullcrusher from prison. Sienna learns there is a weapon out there capable of destroying the Scourge, making Earth safe again. However, Ralston is convinced that no such weapon exists. Nevertheless, Sienna is determined to find the weapon and stop the Scourge from world domination. However, when Sienna learns of the secret Ralston has been hiding, it forces Sienna into evaluating her life as to ultimately deciding who she wants to be.

From Neil Johnson comes this indie sci-fi epic that brings in many tropes used in the genre including post-apocalyptic Earth, a robot army who has taken over the world, and a band of heroes led by a woman with a past. While the film may be said to somewhat rip-off certain elements from big-budgeted science fiction films, Johnson truly makes this a film of its own merit, if you can get past the constant lens flare and enjoy some of the cinematography, which makes great use of its locale shooting.

Lead star Tracey Birdsall brings out quite a performance as Sienna, an arms dealer who is not too oversexualized in terms of being eye candy. Intending to prove herself as a bankable indie action star in the sci-fi genre, she succeeds here as she plays Sienna as someone who is rebellious, which at times presents a problem with her charges. However, as the film progresses, Sienna learns about her past and it soon becomes a major asset in the film as it helps evaluate her life as she learns about her past, its impact on her life in the present, and ultimately, her destined future.

Daz Crawford makes the most of his screen time as Sienna’s long lost boyfriend Skullcrusher while Tim McGrath is such a great comic foil in techie Blister. Clerks’ Marilyn Ghigliotti makes for a reliable ally to Sienna in fellow female resistance fighter Xarsis. William Kircher does a great job doing double duty, as the very concerned Dr. Johnson in terms of being a reliable asset to Sienna while playing the human form of the Scourge, playing a robot hellbent on world domination.

Rogue Warrior: Robot Fighter is a fun indie sci-fi epic that makes good use of its locales and shows that lead actress Tracey Birdsall does have what it takes with the usual sci-fi tropes mixed in with some fun comic relief from Tim McGrath. If you can get past some of the clichés, and accept this is not a big-udget film, then chances are you will enjoy this film.

WFG RATING: B

An Empire Motion Pictures/Pacific Coast Entertainment production. Director: Neil Johnson. Producers: Tracey Birdsall and Neil Johnson. Writer: Neil Johnson. Cinematography: Kyle Wright. Editing: Neil Johnson.

Cast: Tracey Birdsall, Daz Crawford, William Kircher, Stephen Manley, Tim McGrath, Ashley Park, Libby Steubenrauch, Aaron Jacques, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Tony Gibbons.

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