Ranking Robots: Shape-Shifters

Ranking Robots is the newest tri-weekly series that will be making its appearance on the site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as I make my way through Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots. For those that are unaware of the Netflix Original, the show is a series of short stories that have to do with, you guessed it, Love, Death, and Robots. If anyone reading this ever saw the incredible collection of short films called the Animatrix (if you haven’t go check that out now) then you won’t have any trouble jumping into this new series.

Shape-Shifters retells the story of two homosexual American soldiers fighting overseas in the Middle East. Whether on or off the battlefield these two men are forever on edge. Not only are their lives on the line every time they step out onto the battlefield, but the merit of their character is questioned by the other soldiers that simply can’t understand just because they are different doesn’t mean that we aren’t all still one and the same, on the inside… or it tells the supernatural story of two bad-ass soldiers that can turn into werewolves thus giving them the ability to tear any enemy from limb to limb. It’s art, it’s all up for interpretation, I suppose.

Yes, similar to The Dump, Shape-Shifters is more than likely attempting to tell a metaphorical story that’s a unique take on the human condition that is then wrapped inside a supernatural action-horror romp. As I said earlier, it’s really up to the audience on this one. Unlike The Dump though, this story can be enjoyed by the audience that may be attempting to interpret its story. Whether it be the two main characters, both of whom are very likable, or the impressive werewolf action that comes later on in the episode, there’s not much to criticize. I think the human element of the story is very fascinating and much like any time I’ve learned that one of these stories are based on a book, I instantly start wondering when I’m going to sit down and read the source material. On top of that, Shape-Shifters never loses its way as it switches to the more action-heavy part of the story. From the impressive first-person sequence to the climactic battle that delivers one of the best werewolf transformation scenes in the history of the character, each task is accomplished with as much skill as the last.

After watching Shape-Shifters I can safely say that my end of the season rankings are going to be very difficult to finalize, especially once I get to the top 5. Almost every story the show puts out is fantastic, and from what I keep hearing, the best is still to come. What a fantastic series.

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