Cult catches a glimpse of the impending doom that is the future
In the future solar flares have wiped out ninety seven percent of the earth's population. A large corporation builds robots to help the remaining populace adapt to the world's new environment, a harsh place indeed that bubbles with deadly radioactivity, these robots are called Automatas. These devices abide by two unalterable protocols that the movie appears to borrow from Asimov's Laws of Robotics. 1) the preservation of human life and 2) protocol which limits the units from fixing or altering themselves. But something has gone awry, another agent Wallace has shot and subsequently destroyed a unit that he claims he saw fixing itself. Jacq Vaucan, Antonio Banderas, an insurance investigator for ROC (the firm responsible for producing the Automatas) is called in to investigate.
Jacq soon finds himself in a search of a 'Clockmaster' a person who might have some idea as to who might be altering the units and why. In desperation and still with no real answers for his superiors Jacq leaves Dr. Dupree, Melanie Griffith, with the offending robot's parts (and the remainder of another of Wallace's shooting spree victims, a sex bot, Cleo complete with authentic 'landing strip') only to return the next day following a call informing him of strange and exciting developments. Jacq relays the information which gets intercepted and results in the corporation sending a hit squad to silence him. As if matters could not get any worse they do as Jacq's wife is 'about-ready-to-pop' pregnant a situation the corporation is also very much aware of. My spoilers end here folks, any more and I'd ruin a thoroughly engrossing though rather moderately paced movie.
Automata has a definite vibe, the dark depressing futuristic view reminds me of Blade Runner (*A Feind favorite btw) while some of the emotional scenes featuring interactions between both humans and robots remind me of the outstanding movie A.I. (*Feind did not like AI) The robotic creations, at times, put me in mind of a much underrated futuristic shocker entitled Hardware (directed by Richard Stanley. A review of Dust Devil another of his movies can be found elsewhere on this site). Much like the aforementioned BR this movie also has a 'slow burn' pace that thrives on character development, numerous plot twists and plenty of emotion. The soundtrack is powerful and does well to compliment the movie's many and varied powerful moods and moments. Although not a pulse pounding action flick this still had several scenes to get the blood pumping and was well scripted and directed to hold my attention for its entirety.
Several characters stood out. Wallace, for example, was a stereotypical 'bad cop' with no patience whatsoever and a character you couldn't help but detest. I had no qualms whatsoever with Antonio's performance, a man that's brought to the edge of despair, perilously close to death. It's only then that he has a reboot of sorts (ironically much like his companions) to view his situation through a different perspective. Other characters were played by actors that brought me back to my younger days in England, does anyone remember 'Percy' from Black Adder? He plays a hard-ass-mobster-on-a-mission type who's only satisfied when his quest is complete and the target in question is silenced.
The special effects are outstanding. The robotic beings (I have to constantly stop myself from typing 'droid(s)', as it's a copyrighted term, I don't want to be sued, and an entirely different set of films on a galaxy far, far, away) are very believable. They move fluidly and flawlessly, a factor that only helps to pull the viewer deeper into the futuristic storyline and perhaps even feel a little for their cause toward the film's finale.
In conclusion this was not entirely what I had expected but nevertheless is still an engrossing film that's ideal for those viewers that have time to invest and an appreciation of a well-crafted tale rather than say a blood soaked, action packed opus crammed full of guns too big to carry and cleavage so voluminous it's a miracle it stays in place. Well worthy of a peek even though it's near two hours in length. - Cult
What do you think Scribbler fans? Have you seen this potential sci-fi classic? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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