Revolt (film)

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Revolt (film poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoe Miale
Produced by
  • Rory Aitken
  • Nicolas Chartier
  • Zev Foreman
  • James Harris
  • Brian Kavanaugh-Jones
  • Ben Pugh
Written by
  • Rowan Athale
  • Joe Miale
Music byBear McCreary
CinematographyKarl Walter Lindenlaub
Edited byEvan Schiff, Vincent Tabaillon
Distributed byVertical Entertainment
Release date
  • July 1, 2017 (2017-07-01) (Japan)
  • November 17, 2017 (2017-11-17) (United States)
Running time
87 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget4 million (estimated)
Box office$15,430 (theatrical) $24,416 (total)[2]

Revolt is a 2017 American science fiction action film directed by Joe Miale.[3] It was written by Miale and Rowan Athale, starring Lee Pace, Bérénice Marlohe and Jason Flemyng.[4][5]


An American Special Forces soldier (Lee Pace), serving in Kenya, suffers memory loss after being knocked unconscious during a battle with highly electrified bipedal robotic machines. He later wakes up in a jail cell wearing tattered fatigues and unaware of anything but memories of intense pain. He meets Nadia (Bérénice Marlohe), a French foreign aid military doctor in the adjacent cell who tells him he "sounds American" and they were taken prisoner by a gang of xenophobic thugs. She calls him "Bo" after seeing the letters on his torn name tag. Nadia explains to Bo that the world had been invaded by alien machines which wiped out all the major cities and now systematically hunt down survivors.

After escaping the jail cell, Bo decides to make his way to a U.S. military base somewhere near Nairobi. Nadia unenthusiastically joins him. Bo only recalls fragments of what happened to him while discovering his ability to absorb, conduct, and discharge electricity. Upon escaping attacking Kenyan soldiers who believe America must be controlling the "drones" since the enormous satellite dishes at the US base are still intact while everything else is destroyed. Bo and Nadia are captured by soldiers who use them as human bait for a failed machine killing operation. At the mercy of three machines, Bo and a hidden Nadia are inexplicably spared while the machines pursue a fleeing soldier on a motorcycle. Bo and Nadia encounter a fatally wounded photojournalist (Jason Flemyng). The photojournalist passes on his camera to Bo telling him to follow the photos ("digital breadcrumbs") as a way to the U.S. military base, which he had encountered and photographed on his journey. The camera proves to be useful until its batteries die. Bo and Nadia resume their journey to the US base. While in an open field, they see an army of machines heading their way. Bo and Nadia enter a solitary dwelling in the field and flee to the basement, where they embrace and await their demise. In the following scene, Bo is alone and injured, as he staggers to the military base, only to find it in ruins. He sets out to Nairobi, but collapses from his wounds. Saved by a group of Nairobi resistance fighters, he is nursed to health in an underground command center. His story, that his life had been spared but that Nadia had been taken by the alien machines, is met with skepticism. Bo is taken to Roderick (Wandile Molebatsi), who reveals that the aliens gather humans together and transport them to a hovering mothership, and when that happens, the mothership might be vulnerable to attack. Roderick reveals a plan to detonate an EMP bomb near the mothership in order to bring it down and hopefully deactivate the machines it powers or controls. Bo observes Roderick's collection of sketches of the invaders, and upon viewing one drawing that depicts a machine holding a captive in the air, he remembers that he too had been seized by a machine and implanted with a device in his spine, which had caused the amnesia and also gifted him with his electrical abilities. Resistance scouts reveal the machines have returned in force. Bo is likely a beacon for the invaders, kept alive for the purpose of finding fellow humans for the machines to kill or take captive. Angry resistance fighters threaten to kill Bo then and there, and he offers to leave to draw away the invading machines. However, as the machines already know the location of the underground bunker of the resistance, the inhabitants are forced to evacuate. Bo offers to help Roderick take the EMP bomb to the alien mothership through service tunnels. Joined by a team of resistance fighters, Bo and Roderick carry the device through the tunnels and are attacked by infiltrating machines. They arrive to a location where the machines are herding humans and slaughtering those who try to escape. Bo attacks one of the machines in the ring surrounding the group of humans, and the opening creates an opportunity for the captive humans to flee while giving the resistance a chance to push the EMP bomb beneath the mothership. Although the power source of the bomb is damaged in the ensuing melee, Bo is able to use his own body as a conduit for electicity to power the bomb and detonate the device, which destroys the mothership and depowers the machines in Nairobi. In the concluding scene, a recuperated Bo reveals his memories have returned. He is asked for his name, and he chooses to be called simply "Bo."


  • Lee Pace as Bo.[6]
  • Bérénice Marlohe as Nadia. She was cast by Miale himself.[7] Miale recalls spending four hours together at a coffee table, making it a simple and straight forward decision for him.[8]
  • Jason Flemyng as Stander.[9]
  • Sibulele Gcilitshana as Kara
  • Wandile Molebatsi as Roderick
  • Sekoati Sk Tsubane as Juma
  • Leroy Gopal as Jeandre
  • Welile Nzunza as Cedric
  • Patrick Bakoba as Kenyan Captain
  • Tom Fairfoot as Lieutenant Smalls
  • Ben Tjibe as Lookout
  • Chantal Herman as Female Medic
  • Barileng Malebye as Young Soldier
  • Jabulani Mthembu as Poacher 1
  • Batsile Ramasodi as Poacher 2
  • Phoenix Baaitse as Father
  • Bethel Dube as Daughter
  • Reabetsoe Machepha as Smallest Boy
  • Kenneth Fok as Asian Journalist
  • Alan Santini as Soldier one
  • Edwin Jay as Soldier
  • Noko "Flow" Mabitsela as Kenyan boy
  • Barileng Malebye as Young Kenyan soldier
  • Ingmar Büchner as Soldier
  • Carl Roddam as Soldier
  • Steven Ward as Soldier two



Originally titled as "Prisoner of War," Revolt entered pre-production with an enthusiastic Joe Miale (director, co-writer), quoted by Deadline's journalist Mike Flemming Jr., saying, "Alien war machines have been stomping around in my head for far too long."[10]

Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, the producer for Automatik, along with Zev Foreman and Academy Award Winning Producer Nicolas Chartier, producers for Voltage Pictures, expressed enthusiasm for Miale's vision for "Prisoner of War." In an interview with Deadline magazine, Chartier expressed, "We are firm believers in Joe Miale’s vision and look forward to establishing a new science-fiction franchise with him.”

Although Miale wanted the film to be filmed in Kenya, where the story was based in. Unfortunately, shooting in Kenya proved to be unfeasible. The crew ultimately shot around Johannesburg. Most locations were abandoned gold mine facilities, abandoned due to a depletion of gold. Miale expressed his enthusiasm for the locations with Occhi Magazine saying, "The crumbling concrete, chipped paint, and rusted metal is beautiful on camera." He goes on to talk about the local electrical storms, pointing out that a lightning bolt that struck in the film was completely real.[8]

Alex Russell was to originally to play Bo but Lee Pace ended up with the lead role for undisclosed reasons.


Production officially kicked off in September 2014 on site in Johannesburg, South Africa. Only a handful of people were flown out to location. Some of those includeL Director Joe Miale, Lee Pace "Bo," Bérénice Marlohe "Nadia," and cinematographer Karl Walter Lindenlaub, best known for his work in Independence Day.[8]

Lee Pace and Bérénice Marlohe with locally cast talent on the set of "Revolt"

Due to the limited budget of the film, the majority of the cast and crew were locally hired from Johannesburg and Cape Town.



The film officially premiered on July 1, 2017 in Japan. It was later released on the web to the Netherlands via streaming on the 6th; in Thailand, the film appeared in theaters on the 27th; in Singapore, the film appeared in theaters on the 28th of September in the same year; and final theatrical appearance in limited locations in the United States on the 17th of November, also in the same year. The film was released in DVD format on the 4th of December 2017.[11]


According to The Hollywood Reporter, for the first time in the history of Hollywood, the production companies of "Revolt" (Voltage Pictures, Automatik, and 42 Productions) launched an IndieGoGo campaign for $15,000. The money was used to give back to the generous people of a town near Johannesburg who helped out during production. The companies matched every dollar in the campaign in order to build a football field, drug counseling, a car wash, among other projects.[12]

Critical Response[edit]

A day before its U.S. theatrical release, the Los Angeles Times released a review on "Revolt." Gary Goldstein, the author of the article, wrote, "in 'Revolt,' a propulsive, no-nonsense sci-fi thriller that’s far more watchable than its generic title may imply.""[13]

A few reviews from select sites are positive. However, overall, the response to "Revolt" is mostly moderate. "Revolt" has a 41% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes along with a 5.2/10 star rating on IMDb.

A common theme among reviews is a criticism on the use of many sci-fi clichés while, according to review websites like Frame Rated and Screen Anarchy, still "interesting enough to remain watchable."[14][15]


  1. ^ "REVOLT 2017". CINEMACLOCK. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  2. ^ "REVOLT 2017". IMDb. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  3. ^ "REVOLT 2017". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Revolt". Movie Insider. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Revolt 2017 film". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  6. ^ Malkin, Marc (2019-08-02). "Lee Pace Talks 'Driven,' a 'Pushing Daisies' Reunion and Growing Up Queer". Variety. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  7. ^ Windolf, Jim. "Introducing Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe, Skyfall's Sévérine". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  8. ^ a b c "Director Joe Miale Talks REVOLT". Occhi Magazine. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  9. ^ "How We Met: Jason Flemyng & Dexter Fletcher". The Independent. 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  10. ^ "Cannes: Voltage Brings 'Prisoner Of War' To Croisette". DEADLINE. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  11. ^ "REVOLT 2017". IMDb. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  12. ^ "'Revolt' Producers Launch Crowdfunding Campaign to Aid South African Township (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Review: 'Revolt' delivers a swift, satisfying alien invasion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  14. ^ "Review: REVOLT, a Massive Case of Deja Vu". SCREENANARCHY. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  15. ^ "REVOLT (2017)". FRAMERATED. Retrieved 22 April 2020.

External links[edit]