In science fiction films we all want the same thing. We want a fresh original idea that can be spun out before our eyes to make us go that was good if not great. Cause lets face if its never seen in a science fiction film than that's what makes the movie that much better cause it did something not many sci-fi films did. With Autómata the idea is original but the story it has falls flat on the same premise as most sci-fi films. Humans are a dominant species not willing to accept their impending fate and refuse to accept that the robots are going continue to walk this world when we pass from it so we do what we can to hinder this future from ever happening and with no luck it does.
Now when I first found out about this movie it was thru Youtube while I was checking out a few trailers and I stumbled upon this movie. Now at first I was like okay this has to be a commercial cause the robots in the film look like the robots from the Svedka vodka commercials or ads you see in magazines. But Antonio Banderas is in it, Dylan McDermott, Robert Forster and Melanie Griffith...okay this is a movie not a commercial after all so now I am intrigued and a little excited then I see it. The one thing I tend to dread about a movie. Coming soon to VOD or limited release to theater. Damn. As much as I like to see movies at home some of them I would like to experience in the theater but limited means to me that its gonna be New York and I won't drive 4 hours to see a movie. So I'll suck it up and watch it at home.
The story is basic and its similar to other movies of this style like I, Robot and Blade Runner. Its the future and the human race is trying to survive after a disaster that's caused most of the world's population to perish and the face of the world is a post apocalyptic landscape. We create a race of robots to help combat this but they fail and our ignorance turns from loving them to hating them for what they couldn't do for us. To prevent these robots from turning on us we implicated two protocols in their thought processors and thats 1.)They can't hurt a human and 2.) They can't repair or upgrade themselves. The film starts off with a police officer finding a robot in the midst of repairing itself and this is a big no-no cause the robots have learned a way around their second protocol. So the officer takes it upon himself to end this robots life if you want to say that about a robot. Cause you have to wonder do robots have a soul?
This is where Antonio Banderas walks in as an investigator Jacq Vaucan who is investigating a case where a robot has supposedly murdered a families pet. He quickly makes short work of what happen ns to be a family that's trying to just pass blame to make a quick buck in a possible lawsuit. He's told that a robot shouldn't be able to break the second protocol because if they manage to do it then they're evolving way past us and they could become a threat to our very existence. Proving that our fear isn't that their machines, its that they are actually smarter than we are and can out live us. Now this is where I am use to seeing the first protocol being broken where the robot has killed someone but this film breaks the second protocol while still maintaining their first one. This is a fresh take in my eyes and this film has surpassed the norm of this robot killed this person and now its a showdown ala Terminator between man and machine.
Now his investigation into this whole scenario where the robots have seemingly broken the second protocol and have been repairing themselves causes a few missteps for him and he ends up stumbling onto something more than what's really going on. Enough trouble that causes him to end up being dragged through a radioactive wasteland by rogue robots whose first protocol won't allow them to let him die so they keep him alive as best they can even though he argues with them about how they should be following his orders but they won't obey them. He finds out that they are running away from the humans to a so-called promise land deep in the radioactive wasteland so they could live alone and repair themselves and create new robots.
This all leads to the climatic ending where we see the robots create a new robot that looks like a breed of a animal slash a bug. But it also shows the ignorance of the human race as we go to the greatest lengths to insure that they can't get away. Its this ignorance that truly causes eventual death for those that can't accept fate and let what needs to happen just happen.
Now the acting is eh at best when it comes to the few scenes where the humans interact with one another and those scenes come off entirely dull and nothing more than just filler to me. Its like I couldn't find myself liking anyone in this movie entirely other than Banderas' character through out it. The film comes off like something I have seen before like I mentioned before with I, Robot and Blade Runner. Its not like this movie is bad its mostly the human interaction that's bland like there's no connection between the character's to make the scenes anymore than just okay this is what's going to happen so let's deal with it. I mean how can a husband and wife not agree on the same thing when it could benefit their future child's future and well being. I mean that to me is an off putting situation cause how can one want to escape yet the other not understand the idea of it?
All in all I feel that if this was a shorter movie more in the realm of being an actual short film than maybe director Gabe Ibáñez could have gotten his message in the film across a little better than a full length feature. Not knocking the man's skill or anything but I felt that this movie was a little too long for a science fiction feature like this and the fact it was oddly rated R for violence I would assume cause thats all you see but its slapped with the sexual content as well which baffles my mind cause yes they use a sexbot but it doesn't have anything sexual about it other than it making moans that are programmed into its system. So I have no clue what the MPAA board had against this film but other movies similar to this one with same content and elements would be given a PG-13 rating. Maybe the rating does hurt maybe not but to me it just seemed odd that it has that R rating. I'll be honest my child watched it with me and normally I don't let her watch R rated films but this one is definitely rated wrong and can be viewed by anyone under the supposed 18 or older age bracket that the R rating hinders upon.
Now I am a fan of Antonio Banderas cause of films like Assassins, Desperado, Mask of Zorro and The 13th Warrior. But there is that stigma about an actor doing a science fiction film and it not coming off well. Like Ballistic: Ecks vs Severs to me that movie was badly horrible and I was like why did he do it. Maybe he learned from going back to the sci-fi world till this year and this movie redeems his performance in Ballistic. So if your asking will I recommend this film to you then yes. But only if your a fan of this kind of science fiction film where the story is easy to decipher and you just want to see it. If not then you can easily skip this and move onto the next film. But if you were like and easily felt this movie was good then this is your movie for the night. So enjoy and have fun.
reviewed by Bucky