Gabe Ibáñez' AUTOMATA
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
AUTOMATA is a refreshingly unique film in how it approaches some fairly common science fiction themes including climate change, artificial intelligence, and a deteriorating dystopian world.
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The basic story is familiar: in a future where drastic climate change has severely reduced the world’s population, society has become dependent on robots for basic tasks and the robots are starting to “revolt.”
At the quotes around “revolt” for good reason: the troublemaking issue is that robots, in addition to being programmed to never do anything to harm people, are also programmed not to change or repair themselves.
The theory behind this is that, were robots to start to tinker with themselves, they would then be in a position to evolve beyond humans.
Of course you can’t have that so, naturally, that’s what the movie is about — the robots start repairing and changing themselves.
From a production design standpoint this movie is superb. The sets and shabby tech are detailed and realistic, and the robots themselves have a unique appearance and lifelike movement.
The odd thing about the movie, though, is that the robots seem to have more personality than the people. The cast is excellent so that’s not the problem. Perhaps this is the directors intent. Or maybe so much care and attention have been lavished on the robots that direction of the humans actors was shortchanged.
Either way the movie is definitely worth seeing. This is a highly original spin on both the dystopian and the robots-becoming-human themes. Highly Recommended.
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald