Is Automata The Next Blade Runner?
Writers: Gabe Ibáñez, Igor Legarreta, Javier Sánchez Donate
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Melanie Griffith, Dylan McDermott, Javier Bardem
In a bleak future where earth has been turned into desert wasteland, robots have been created to help maintain human life. These robots have two key protocols put in place to protect human life. (So far this is nothing we haven’t seen a couple dozen times before.) When one of these protocols is broken and a robot is found altering itself, an insurance agent (Antonio Banderas) is assigned to locate and eliminate the person who altered the robots in the first place. What he finds goes far deeper than a robot repairing itself.
I’m quite positive I won’t be the only one who compares this movie to Blade Runner. The similarities are not coincidental, as Gabe Ibáñez borrows fervently from the aesthetic, and overall feel of the Ridley Scott classic. More so, the script borrows heavily from the universe Isaac Asimov created in his Robot Series.
I will state almost immediately that this movie was good, and since it was good, instead of labeling it a rip-off (which it blatantly is) I will instead label it a beautiful homage to the Golden Age of Science Fiction. I might be the only person who makes the exception, as I see on a certain rotten fruit website, that most people didn’t really enjoy Automata. Really this movie is not for everyone. This movie is art, and poetry. A play of color and light. A social message, albeit done many times before but still relevant today. This movie isn’t for anyone who likes the Transformers movies.
Antonio Banderas has been trying hard to prove himself as a serious actor. He is not Arnold, Stallone, or anyone else who has been in a Expendables movie with him. His acting in this movie is a further reminder of that. In fact, all of the acting in this movie is pretty well done. Acting aside, the real star of this movie is the directing, and cinematography.
Alejandro Martínez who’s work we’ll see (hopefully) in the upcoming Scream TV series use of grays and yellows perfectly reflect the devastation the earth has seen. While washed out desert scenes might be slightly hard on the eyes, they draw you into the feeling of overwhelming heat, and the hopeless feeling of dehydration. Martínez is surely on his way to bigger things.
Automata will be playing in select theaters starting today October 10th. If you’re a fan of Science Fiction I employe you to give it a shot. It may not be the next Blade Runner, but it’s close.