Ranking Robots: Helping Hand

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.

Taking all of the interesting moments of the trapped in space movie Gravity and combining it with all of the intensity of the stuck under a rock movie 127 Hours, Helping Hand proves once again that just because one ingredient in the recipe is bad doesn’t mean that you should throw away the entire meal. As I said, Helping Hand takes all of the interesting parts of Gravity which means it’s a woman stuck in space… that’s it. So who is this woman, well, as the story quickly unfolds, audiences will quickly come to like the only character that ever makes an appearance on screen. She works hard, loves her job, and kind of hates the people that are in charge, something I think everyone can relate to. Unfortunately what was thought to be a routine clean up job quickly turns sour as every choice becomes life or death.

While I’m sure the story’s lead would have loved to have had a fire extinguisher handy, the only option for her survival is much more plausible and even more terrifying. Once the realization of what needs to be done crashes over the audience like the wave of a tsunami, all there’s left to is hope for the best. Every moment is tense and painful and even when it looks like things are looking up, you’re never really quite sure.

Helping Hand is a quick blink and you’ll miss it tale that manages to get more of a reaction out of its storytelling than most movies these days. Never fully knowing where the next minute would take me, the story manages to use every single second of its 10 minute run time to leave the audience on the edge of their seat. Had the story been even 10 seconds longer, we would have all been on the floor. It perfectly knew when it was time to pay off this wild rollercoaster and I, for one, could not be happier to have experienced it.

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