Screamers (1995) Peter Weller, Roy Dupuis, Jennifer Rubin, Andrew Lauer Movie Review

Screamers (1995)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Peter Weller in Screamers (1995)


In the year 2078 the mining planet SIRIUS 6B has been ravaged by a decade long war which has been made worse by a blade-wielding weapon which scientists created to end the war now attacking all human life, yes those who created them as well. Col. Hendrickson (Peter Weller) is in charge of a small band of soldiers who are sent on a mission which may bring the end of the war. The trouble is that they will need to traverse a treacherous wasteland which is made all the more complicated by the fact these deadly weapons are not only self-replicating but have learned how to mimic man and the only way to identify them is by their debilitating screams.

After you've watched and waded through as many movies as I have you start to get a 6th sense, an ability to predict when a movie might start well but is unlikely to maintain it. I got that sense during the opening scene of "Screamers" as we see this soldier stuck in this wasteland being attacked by these creations which have saw blades as weapons as well as Banshee screams to debilitate their victims. But I got a sense as this scene was playing out that this was as good as this movie would get and what would follow would end up drawn out and repetitive as has happened with other movies which are based on Philip K. Dick short stories.

Jennifer Rubin in Screamers (1995)

And sadly I was right as whilst the concept of man made weapons having become self automated and gaining the ability to evolve to take on human form has potential what goes on in "Screamers" is tedious as we have the grizzled Col. Hendrickson saddled with the wet behind the ears Jefferson crossing wasteland, having a run in with the old enemy, joining forces, having to watch their backs as they don't trust each other and so on. Basically it feels like someone has taken a storyline with potential, tossed some money at the effects and then treated it in a generic, uninspiring way.

Thankfully part of the budget was spent on getting Peter Weller on board and thankfully his likeability as an actor helps to keep you interested. But even Weller can't make tacky lines like "God you're beautiful" sound great and when a lesser actor has one of those lines, well let's just say it makes you cringe.

What this all boils down to is that "Screamers" is another sci-fi movie which ends up at best ordinary but could have been so much more if they had paid attention to the more interesting parts of the storyline rather than treating it in a generic manner.