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A-X-L

Release Dates: Portugal - Dec 20, 2018     Russia - August, 2018    
A-X-L (2018) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  98m  •    •  Directed by: Oliver Daly.  •  Starring: Thomas Jane, Becky G, Dominic Rains, Ted McGinley, Alex Neustaedter, Dorian Kingi, Niko Guardado, Alex MacNicoll, Eric Etebari, Stacey Arwen Raab, Patricia De Leon, Maggy Vick, Sam Upton.  •  Music by: Ian Hultquist.
        Miles is down-on-his luck teenage bike rider who stumbles upon an advanced, robotic, military technology dog named A.X.L. Endowed with next-generation artificial intelligence but with the heart of a dog, A.X.L. forms an emotional bond with Miles, much to the chagrin of the rogue military scientists who created A.X.L. and would do anything to retrieve him. Knowing what is at stake if A.X.L. gets captured, Miles teams up with his smart, resourceful crush, Sara, to protect his new best friend.

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Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
Image from: A-X-L (2018)
The bond between man and dog is sacred, but what happens when it is a robotic dog that you happened to find? That odd question is answered, ironically, tonight with the movie review that I bring. A charming piece according to the trailers, this film is going to try and make a mark in the last stages of August. Can such a bizarre concept actually work, or will it fall to skeptical eyes as the summer wraps up to pave the way for Fall's lineup. Robbie K here to bring you another review in hopes to helping you out with your movie choices. So, let's get reviewing on

Movie: A.X.L. (2018)

Director: Oliver Daly Writer: Oliver Daly Stars: Thomas Jane, Becky G, Alex Neustaedter

LIKES:

CuteFamily Friendly: The movie accomplished it's mission to be family friendly, as this film does everything to mimic a Disney movie without falling into lawsuit territory. A.X.L's a quirky movie that should be a walk in the park for most, minus a few loud and darker moments so parents be warned. Nonetheless, it's got a little something for most young at heart audience members with that K-9 meeting human approach, fused with a little teen drama as well. The Bike Scenes: The trailers have shown you our main guy Miles (Neustaedter) tearing up the dirt hills of California. Like the DCOM motorcrossed the few sequences dedicated to the sport are quite a sight for the audience members to soak up. Decently stable camera work, fantastic sound editing, and a good orchestrasoundtrack to give it the extra oomph it needed. While short lived, these moments are the fuel to get past the slow opening. Decent Acting: No award winners outside of the teen and kids choice awards level, but the cast of A.X.L. are not the worst crew to ever grace a screen. Becky G is my particular favorite, the character given to her getting a little more chance to branch out than most of the others. She's balanced, edgy, but equipped to handle much of the chaos without breaking character. Neustaedter isn't bad, but his monotone performance needs a little molding to get a better character, instead of the sulky, long-haired look that much of CW's cast seems to share. Alex MacNicoll plays the overdone antagonist well, but not much expands past whining, moaning, and hormonal antics that aren't worth the time to invest in. And as for the rest of the group, they succeed in their roles, they just again needed more time. The Unique Animation Of A.X.L.: It's a combination of puppetryrobotics with CGI, the digital dog certainly had interesting choices made when it came to animating him. At times it worked for me, the puppetry managing to bring the playful sprit out in full force. The CGI is decent too, smooth and accurate for representing a cyber dog, yet not quite the magic experience that Disney likes to show us. This hybrid doesn't seem logical, but in terms of creative display, it works for me.

DISLIKES

The Predictable Plot: If you have seen the trailers, you should be able to piece the ending together within the first half hour of the movie. A.X.L. struggles with surprise, choosing to stick to soap opera antics and simplified plots to entertain. If you don't care about the plot and want to look at the pretty people, then you are set, but otherwise not much to make you gasp in this film. The Characters Need Expanding: Pretty self-explanatory, our young adultteenager group are diluted characters that steadily start to fill in with each passing minute. They work for the superficial looks and the sentimental message they were going for, but there was so much more to find out about them. Hinting at backstories, merging the group together, it needed a lot more theatrics to really craft the group that I wanted to see. The Story: Same thing here, A.X.L's plot seems to be a rushed production that was finished to meet a summer daylight. Things happen very quickly, getting little time to simmer before running all processors at max performance. The story is really straightforward, and when you combine this with the lackluster characters you just get a rusted plot line that seems expanded from a short film. Perhaps they have their eyes set on the prize of a franchise, or perhaps they hope to tell more somewhere else, but this film didn't quite complete the film on a good level, potentially looking to the future instead of settling on the present. The anticlimactic ending: Nothing hits me harder than seeing a supposedly suspenseful film drop the ball on the climactic struggle. This film managed to promote a lot of potential excitement only to snatch that away with a semi-emotional finale that lacked any suspense or thrills. A rushed finish only went so far with me, again working to hastily wrap up the story in the given time (110 minutes). The silver lining is that this finale will be geared towards the youngest group, but for the rest try to enjoy the charming finish it holds to in the last 10 minutes. The Verdict:

Truth is A.X.L. won't be netting any awards but that doesn't mean that it's a piece of garbage. It's special effects and pretty cast nature will be the selling point alongside some fantastic sound editing. And while the whole movie lacks the bite of an action film, it certainly does get that family friendly nature it wanted. And while the twist of a ticked off robot dog is there, the rest of this predictable plot needed some tuning up, primarily the ending conflict. In all honesty though, A.X.L. suffers from trying to wrap up in movie instead of looking to expand the tale into a television series or some other media. Worth a trip to the theater? You can guess probably not, as this film could have gone to nickelodeon and done better.


Review by rgkarim from the Internet Movie Database.