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DVD REVIEW: FTN reviews Automata

May 1st, 2015 by Big Phil Comments


Autómata (15)
Directed by: Gabe Ibáñez
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen & Dylan McDermott
Running time: 109 min

Jacq Vaucan is an insurance agent of ROC robotics corporation who investigates cases of robots violating their primary protocols against altering themselves. What he discovers will have profound consequences for the future of humanity. 

It’s the year 2044 and 97% of the population has been wiped out due to solar flares disrupting the earth’s atmosphere. In order for humanity to survive, robots have been created to assist in every aspect of their lives; from building a viable weather system to performing maintenance and domestic duties.

Jacq Vaucan (Banderas) is an insurance investigator looking into the destruction of a robot that has seemingly broken its key protocols. During his investigation he uncovers something far more disturbing that could ultimately change the course of humanity’s existence forever.

Autómata is futuristic film that is as bleak and desolate as the baron radioactive desert that skirts the few cities remaining. The premise, which has clearly mimicked (if not at times flat out copied) I, Robot and A.I. starts off as an interesting thriller with a good premise.

Sadly the script lets the film down in a number of places. The comparison between the human Jacq and his life with his heavily pregnant wife becomes parallel to that of the robots led by Cleo. There are a number of instances that the story seems inspired and yet a few moments later you are questioning what you have just seen. Perhaps this may have been Director Gabe Ibáñez intention, but it just comes of as very lazy writing or worse, a means to an end.

There are periods though in the film that you do applaud an idea or two, but a flicker of imagination is let down by a visual of something that just seems idiotic. The final act so to speak is a perfect example of something that looks akin to a spaghetti western but comes off as just plain stupid considering what the characters have gone through.

The acting is mediocre at best. Banderas gives a pretty sleepy performance of a burnt out insurance investigator longing for something else, complete with long overcoat or plastic mac that is a more than just an homage to Blade Runner’s Deckard. Robert Forster portrays his boss and, to be fair, plays the “happy with his lot in life” part pretty well. Sadly though, there are a number of British actors who portray Americans with pretty dire accents, one of the worst is key villain Vernon (played by Blackadder’s Tim McInnerny) who gives one of the worst lines of dialogue in cinematic history.

There have been many apocalyptic futuristic movies made but it’s a shame that this one will be in the “best forgotten” pile as there were some interesting ideas that just were never fully explored or an explanation for their actions given.

2 out of 5 Nerds


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I arrived on Earth in 1977 and have virtually devoted my entire existence to cult films, television programmes and cartoons. I am a very big fan of Star Wars and Star Trek; I may struggle with foreign languages but I can order live Gagh in Klingon! I’m the Nerd that knows the trivia but I’m hopeless at sport!

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