In Android Apocalypse, this concept transpires as a story that is mostly cliches. The journey across the desert where we see the two characters mellowing in their views works with modest effectiveness. The film becomes considerably less interesting during the second half once it drops its Defiant Ones scenario. Thereafter it becomes only a standard prison-revolt story, added to the old hat plot of a mad scientist wanting to turn the whole world into androids, which we have seen in a host of other films Scream and Scream Again (1969), Futureworld (1976) and Vexille (2007).
Sometimes the logic the film operates by is uneven. I had a problem with the central notion of the hero being sentenced for the murder of an android, especially in a society where there seems such unease and prejudice against androids. Rather than murder, surely the more likely option would be for the hero to be charged with the destruction of property? It also does not seem credible that Scott Bairstow would destroy an android in a fit of resentful anger and then have a crisis of conscience that he has killed one, especially if he does not regard them as anything more than machines. It is a character twist that seems implausible.
Joseph Lawrence, who looks like a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, does the impassive, emotionless android thing well. It is here that the film rigorously follows the logic of androids, rather than allowing them to freely portray facial expressions as most actors playing androids do. In actuality, every facial expression an android shows would have to be a learned response if an android does not know the emotion of fear or surprise, then how can its face display such? Unfortunately, when it comes to other androids notably Anne Nahabedians pursuing nemesis she is inconsistently shown to be relishing the cruelty of the hunt and not impassive at all.
There are a number of action scenes, which are competently handled if nothing exceptional. The special effects are passable for a low-budget film of this type, if occasionally spotty. The insectoid robot drones are highly effective and lethal looking. There are some decent cityscapes of the domed city interiors.
Android Apocalypse was a Canadian production. Director Paul Ziller has made a number of low-budget action films, thrillers and genre entries. These include:- the slasher film Pledge Night/A Hazing in Hell (1988), the serial killer film Breaking Point (1993), the virtual reality film Virtual Seduction (1995), the mutant fish film Snakehead Terror (2004), the sun goes nova film Solar Attack (2005), the insects amok film Swarmed (2005), Beyond Loch Ness (2008), the horror film Baal (2008), the monster movie Troglodyte (2008), Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon (2008), Polar Storm (2009), Ice Quake (2010), Iron Golem (2010), Stonehenge Apocalypse (2010), Collision Earth (2011), Garden of Evil (2011), Ghost Storm (2011), Iron Golem (2011), The Terror Beneath (2011) and The Philadelphia Experiment (2012).