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Archive for September 22nd, 2015

Autómata

With 99% 0f the population killed by solar flares that have left the earth as an irradiated desert.  The survivors live in cities built by robots.  Robots who are also used as servants for the rich.  The robots have a built in safety feature, they have two unalterable protocols: they cannot harm any form of life, and they may not modify any robot including themselves.  When a cop (Dylan McDermott) shoots a robot that he observes repairing itself insurance investigator Jacq Vaucan (Antonio Banderas) gets embroiled.

Autómata

Existing somewhere between Blade Runner (1982) and I, Robot (2004) but leaning more towards Isaac Asimov than Philip K. Dick.  As you would expect from a film about the evolution of robots there is a strong subtext about what it is to be human.  This is magnified by the apocalyptic setting with humanity on the edge.  The film is underlined with a sense of melancholia reminiscent of Richard Stanley’s B movie masterpiece Hardware (1990).

Birgitte Hjort Sørensen

The use of over bleached photography is getting a little old but still looks good.  Known for his flamboyance, Antonio Banderas gives a perfectly low key performance he is well supported by stalwarts Dylan McDermott, Melanie Griffith, Robert Forster and Tim McInnerny as well as rising star Birgitte Hjort Sørensen.

Autómata Melanie Griffith

The story of robots evolving is juxtaposed with the story of Jacq Vaucan’s pregnant wife.  This prospective is what gives the film the humanity, the soul that elevates it.  The low-key direction won’t impress those looking for an action adventure but those who go in expecting something more thoughtful will be better served.

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