This wholesome boy-and-his-dog adventure is patterned after The Iron Giant—a good role model for any movie to emulate, though obviously a hard one to measure up to. It also has shades of Short Circuit, E.T. and the like, being the story of an underdog teenage motocrosser named Miles (Alex Neustaedter) who finds a robotic war-dog that escaped from the military contractors who built it. Named A.X.L. (Attack Exploration Logistics), the Great Dane-sized cyber-beast has the loyalty and playfulness of a real dog mixed with the lethal capabilities of a tank, with some Transformer qualities for good measure. A.X.L. imprints on Miles and his quasi-girlfriend, Sara (Becky G), protecting them from Miles’ rich rival (Alex MacNicoll), while back at HQ its creator (Dominic Rains) argues with an underling (Lou Taylor Pucci) about whether to retrieve it, or wait and see how it does in its first interactions with humans (there’s a chance it will just kill them). Rookie writer-director Oliver Daly, expanding on his 2015 short, keeps things simple, targeting young viewers (and, to a lesser extent, dog lovers) who want a low-impact fantasy—and it meets all basic requirements.
Director: Oliver Daly
Producer: David Goyer, Kevin Turen, Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, Eric Reid, David Kern, James McQuaide, Elizabeth Gesas, Adam Schneider, Tom Ortenberg and Kassee Whiting
Cast: Alex Neustaedter, Becky G, Alex MacNicoll, Dominic Rains, Thomas Jane, Niko Guardado, Patricia De Leon, Dorian Kingi, Hassie Harrison, Lou Taylor Pucci, Eric Etebari, Sam Upton, Jonathan Camp, Donnie Smith and Andrew Ortenberg