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average rating is 3 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Jul 9, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
King Jeff
Written by:
King Jeff
King Jeff, Gorio, Brian Lanigan

I can’t help but admire when filmmakers venture out into a sci-fi/superhero/action genre dominated by million-dollar films that all tell the same story, sticking 2 big fingers up at the studios and producing innovative and thoughtful content regardless of whether they are working with dimes to the dollar. Troubleshooters has a lot of flaws, but director King Jeff’s elaborate yet somehow mundane story of a robot invasion at least feels original.


In a dark future where laser-wielding security robots have risen up to overthrow their human masters, an organisation known as the ‘troubleshooters’ are employed wherever a report is received to decommission the metallic threat. Sandoval Wolf (King Jeff) and Chilly Wallace (Gorio) are two such operatives. Yet despite their chaotic and dangerous job, both feel a sense of drift as they go about their day to day.


Truthfully, any plot recap is unlikely to do Troubleshooters justice. The film is bold, ambitious and considered, whilst also humorous and farcical thanks to its knowing embrace of its financial limitations. A 60s Dr Who episode would turn down the props and costumes for their absurdity – and even Kryten would kick the ‘robots’ out of bed. But as a B-movie with an extra-capital B, this only adds to the charm and homemade edge. The film’s real heart is the story of its two protagonists. Sandoval Wolf’s sense of loss and evident depression at being a runabout cog in a metaphorical machine, with Chilly Wallace as his uncaring mentor-figure is relatable and endearing. The audience gets a sense of Wolf through Blade Runner-esque robotic therapy sessions, and will find both empathy and amusement for his predicament in what is an all-around grim future.


King Jeff’s direction and cinematography is genuinely impressive, with imaginative chase sequences, impactful shooting of the aforementioned therapy scenes, and a style of filming that allows one to feel both distant of and a party to the film’s events all at once. The viewer is often placed as an observer of Sandoval and Chilly’s interactions, and then brought into the heat of the scene during the film’s action sequences. By shifting the audience, King Jeff creates a viewing experience with both personal connection and observational contemplativeness – and the benefit to the audience is that they can enjoy the ridiculousness of the film’s production whilst maintaining the emotion.


It is in the technical production where Troubleshooters falls short (ironically). Where a bit of low-budget narm charm can be endearing, actual production issues really denigrate the final product. In Troubleshooters’ case, sound design is particularly poor – with key scenes being very difficult to comprehend due to poor vocal balancing. There are also a number of scenes where lens flare and other visual distractions are visible. It’s hard to say whether this was intentional, but the impact regardless is not a positive one for the storytelling.


The rough edges of Troubleshooters risk tearing your hands to bits, but driving this film are some original ideas and visions that make a complex and layered sci-fi relatable and affable.

Watch the official trailer for Troubleshooters.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Theatrical Release, Digital / DVD Release, Indie Feature Film
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