Thought provocative, thrilling and incredibly stylish, Amazon exclusive Mr Robot is a slickly made crime thriller that depicts the shady underworld of hacking perfectly. With dark, minimally lit scenes and a gripping plot woven through the 10 episodes, Mr Robot manages to enthrall from start to finish. To say its perfect, at least from a technical perspective, might be a bit much but there’s no denying that at least from a visual and aural perspective, Mr Robot is excellent and easily one of the best exclusives to come from Amazon Studios.
The story starts simply enough before branching off to explore various narrative paths for the different main characters. For vast stretches of the show’s run time, characters are introduced and explored but the predominant focus is on Elliot (Rami Malek). This young, socially reclusive programmer works as a cyber-security engineer during the day but by night he’s a notorious hacker, working for Mr Robot (Christian Slater) within a dangerous group called FSociety. It’s here that the interesting dynamic between Elliot’s double life is tested, further clouded by Elliot’s addiction and various acquaintances either side of the hacking life. Despite the plot complexity, Mr Robot never feels contrived or bloated. The plot line is simple enough to follow but complicated enough to enjoy on a deeper level and its here that Mr Robot really stands out from the mass of other crime thrillers.
For anyone who’s even remotely clued up on things like proxies, bandwidth and other technical colloquialisms regarding computers will certainly be impressed by Mr Robot. The show wisely steers clear of the cookie monster hacking games and overblown frenetic typing cliches that seem to be in every show about hacking. Instead, Mr Robot’s dialogue is genuine, analytically breaking down the actual process of hacking in realistically depicted conversations. This authenticity helps to give the show an air of realism lacking in many other cyber thrillers and because of this, Mr Robot stands out.
The ambient techno-infused soundtrack complements the show’s aesthetic perfectly too. Moody and tinged with a hint of uneasiness, it keeps the scenes suspenseful and unpredictable throughout further elevating the feel of a cohesiveness driven throughout the episodes. There’s a great use of technicality used in the show too; effortless transitions between artistic camera angles and well composed shots really help Mr Robot stand out.
Its hard to fault Mr Robot and in many ways the show is an example of how to take a premise, ground it in realism and still make it incredibly compelling. The visual design is outstanding and along with a complementary soundtrack and well paced story, Mr Robot is a force to be reckoned with. Some of the technical hacking knowledge may well be lost on the more casual audience members however it never detracts from the experience. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers or anything to do with the shady world of hacking, Mr Robot is an excellent show that entertains from the dizzyingly good pilot to the explosive finale.
Verdict - 9/10