Movie Review: Autơmata

Directed by Gabe Ibáñez

Produced by Danny Lerner, Les Weldon,
Antonio Banderas, Sandra Hermida

Written by Gabe Ibáñez, Igor Legaretta Gomez, Javier Sanchez Donate

Antonio Banderas
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen
Dylan McDermott
Robert Forster
Tim McInnerny
Melanie Griffith


In this dystopian film earth has suffered an ecological disaster which has reduced the population and left large areas of radioactive desert.  One company ROC has created the pilgrim robot which was to be mankind’s  savior.  Instead they have been turned into mankind’s slave.  The robots created with two rules: 1. Allow no human to come to harm.  2. Robots are not allowed to modify themselves.

Antonio Banderas plays Jacq Vaucan an insurance agent for ROC.  His job is to instigate reports of ROC robots going haywire.  Jacq obviously hates his job and constantly day dreams about his childhood and the time he spent at the beach.  Plus his wife (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) is nearing the end of her pregnancy and he wonders whether bringing a child into this world is a good idea.

Jacq learns of a robot that a cop named Sean Wallace (Dylan McDermot), shot because it looked as if it was repairing itself a clear violation of rule two.  As Jacq investigates further he finds that there appears to be more robots that have been modified so that appear to be “alive”.  Suspecting a clocksmith, an illegal robot modifier, he convinces Wallace to take him to the seedier section of town where he meets a robot modified to be a dominatrix.  Wallace shoots the robot and then he and Jacq follow the owner of the robot to the clocksmith that modified the robot.  The clocksmith is played by Melanie Griffith.  She denies making the robots that are “alive” Jacq hands her a brain chip from the last robot that displayed the life like tendencies the clocksmith uses it and modifies the dominatrix robot who begins repairing herself.  All this information gets back to ROC and they send out a hit squad to kill Jacq and anyone who knows anything about these modified robots.  This leads to a chase into the radioactive dessert.


I was pointed to this trailer by someone who knows my love for science fiction I thought this might be worth my while.  Well, trailers always lie.  This movie tries to be Blade Runner, Cherry 2000, and I Robot and does it badly.  You see the building size holograms  ala Blade Runner but the effect is cheap nothing like what you see in Blade Runner.  Then there is the robot that is “alive” or sort of like the robot in I Robot that didn’t have the three laws or robotics in its positronic brain.  And I’ll let the reader guess the significance of Melanie Griffith  as the “voice” of the dominatrix robot Cleo.

Now the good news is I didn’t pay any money for this I downloaded to my tablet from my local library.  Don’t bother doing the same this a really poor movie and more the pity.

And now for the rant.  There is a section in the film where Jacq is talking to the first robot that had come “alive” in it he equates his “evolving” to the same process that cause the human race to come into being.  That somehow the brain circuitry “changed” by chance.  But previous to this moment it was revealed that the ROC scientists had actually designed this brain to learn until the learning grew to the point that the scientists could no longer understand the brain and then shut it down lest it become smarter than they were.  So it really wasn’t chance it was designed to do this, and the design was carried on by other robot brains.  But the robot is saying that the random banging of atoms, or stardust, or electrons are what caused to be what it is.  Codswallop!  It denies it’s creators, like others,  it shows flawed logic and tells us that it is the next step in evolution.  And frankly this is the greatest flaw of this film preaching evolution when it didn’t evolve.

I’m giving this 1.5 stars out of 5