A-X-L: the futuristic war dog

If you like science fiction and dogs, then this movie is for you.

The director of A.X.L is Oliver Daly, and this will have been his first real movie to direct. He directed a short film titled ‘Miles’ which is basically a short for this movie. The movie begins with a slight narrative of what A.X.L is and what it stands for; Attack Exploration Logistics.

After the brief introduction to A.X.L, the movie moves onto the main character, Miles, played by Alex Neustaedter who is from Shawnee Mission, Kansas. The movie is supposed to be about a robotic dog that was made by the military and is made to be a killing machine, but in actuality the robot is just like a real dog that has real feelings.

Miles begins the movie by being in a dirt bike race against 11 or so other boys. The whole dirt bike race is your basic race, you have the main character, an antagonist played by Alex Macnicoll, and a girl played by Becky G that eyes the main character. The camera angles and camera shake, I suppose, is to add the feeling of being in the movie. Skip ahead a little, the audience is shown and claw marks on a wall, giving the impression that the robot dog, A.X.L. escaped. Because of this, you have the basic routine of finding the escapee. This involves unhinged people and sending highly trained teams to hunt down the escapee. The escape scene kind of reminds me of the ‘escape’ scene in Jurassic World, except in this movie the escapee actual got out. Now, the movie seems to be set in modern times, but with special high-tech equipment that only the military has access to.

As the movie progresses, the main character, Miles, seems to be just like any other stereotypical character in a movie, displaying he has little money, has no mother and sucks at anything and everything except the one thing he enjoys, motocross. If you want to get straight to the robot dog, you will need to skip ahead about 20 minutes as everything before that is strictly about Miles, motocross, the antagonist and the girl.

When the robot dog, who later is named Axl, appears Miles runs away from the robot but comes back. This particular scene reminds me of a stereotypical white girl situation in horror movies when the girl goes back to the scary noise that scared her. Anyway, as the robot is introduced in this scene, the robot does not have normal paws for feet and instead has hoof-like feet and red eyes that turn blue when it realizes a person is not a threat. The robot dog looks futuristic, but also looks like an actual robot that the creators made for the movie. To add on, I looked up behind the scenes footage on YouTube and found that a human-controlled robot was created to be the dog. Furthermore, in this scene there is supposed to be some SFX on Miles, but there was a mistake where the SFX is there but in the next scene it is almost gone.

Throughout the movie, it shows two scientists in between scenes watching Axl through the eyes of the robot. Honestly, the scientists seem to not care what happens to Miles as they do not do anything to stop the robot from killing and just let what happens, happen. The scientists watch as the dog becomes progressively like a real dog, giving the impression that they wanted this to happen.

As I was watching the movie, I found Axl to act just like a loyal dog. There are some scenes that show the robot is only loyal to Miles and will do whatever he tells the dog to do. At one point in the movie, Miles almost has the robot dog kill someone.

Toward about the last third of the movie there is an attack scene involving the creators and the robot dog. While they attack the robot dog, Miles and Becky G’s character get chloroformed, which honestly, they could have done without. It seems like every action movie uses some form of chloroform just to knock someone out. When they were chloroformed it did not take long for them to pass out.

There are very cheesy kissing scenes between Miles and Becky G’s character in two scenes. The scenes were just like any other kissing scene in a romantic comedy, it is awkward and overdone. In the end, there is a six-week after scene that shows one of the scientists in jail and Miles and Becky G’s character going to college with a dog. The end gives the impression of a second movie, but I am guessing this movie will not receive a second movie as it seems to be something only science fiction fanatics might want to see. Overall, the movie was interesting but used overdone narratives and scenes. If I were to rate this movie out of 10, I would give it a six.