June 25, 2024

Tech info, entertainment news and more…

Atlas (2024)

4 min read

When it comes to the handful of names who are defiantly keeping the idea of super-stardom alive, JLo is a name that you will hear this year, just take a look at some of the projects she’s been involved in  the last few years as producer, actor, and of course singer rom-coms “Marry Me” and “Shotgun wedding” (2022), the intimate action-thriller “The Mother” (2023), a self-funded project about her life journey titled “This is Me … Now” (2024) and a Superbowl halftime show appearance in 2020, among others. She is trying her utmost to keep pumping out the content good or otherwise no matter what. These wont win any oscars we dont think but at least its new content in a time of scarcity.

Her latest movie, Brad Peyton’s jump onto the A.I. will end up being evil bandwagon “Atlas” is no exception to her library, The lackluster direct to streaming, that will never see a cinema screen in our lifetime is hardly on the same scale as others. It has nothing to make an audience gawk, but rather wonder how she will have managed to do all this on a green screen stage to basically nothing.

It sometimes feels like those cheesy lines are the film’s second greatest asset (after, of course, Lopez). Which is why the film’s straight-to-streaming release feels especially unfortunate—aren’t knowingly hokey rulings like “Eat Shit!” from the lips of the recent Oscar nominee Sterling K Brown before he blows up an entire AI-ruled settlement and “Let’s go, bitch!” delivered by Lopez herself best enjoyed among a rowdy crowd? But you’ll have to settle with the pleasure of your own company instead of following the brilliant data analyst Atlas Shepherd (Lopez), first across the poorly rendered Los Angeles of the distant future (or at least they say distant but if you would believe others this might not be too far off) and, later, outer space.

This new timeline is AI dominated, where there are special devissions of the government that try to regulate and police it.  And a renegade robot, Harlan (Simu Liu) with a pair of distracting blue contact lenses to make you refer to him as an android fled the planet 28 years ago but is still feared b many. What would happen if he ever returned what would he be able to do to the world….

With shades of Will Smith in i,Robot, we start with  Atlas here in full hatred against AI, with a strong preference for things that are traditional and analog (despite the opening shots of her home being pretty full on tech ridden to give the designers and coders something extra to do). But when a recent mission sends her to an unstable and inhospitable planet called GR39 under Colonel Elias Banks’ (K. Brown) leadership, she has no choice but to trust the very robotic powers she detests. Her hatred of AI is tested, of course immediately when an attack on the ship sends her into a AI controlled battle suit, no one saw that coming at all.. really! But can the ever-cynical and sarcastic Atlas learn to trust Simon her suit AI and allow it to synch up with her brain completely?

Much of the film’s second part on the planet is  around Atlas’ trust issues, with the film working too hard to demonstrate that not all AI is bad. Fine, it’s not as if even the fiercest AI skeptics out there aren’t aware of the benefits of such technology, provided that it is shaped and piloted by the right hands. But at a time when this technology is increasingly threatening to replace us and rob us out of our most precious creations and all the privacy, this supposed message falls comically flat. If the intention of this movie is to help people to trust the new technology in our own lives, If Atlas can do it why dont you, then it fails into the cartoon world of make believe, it will do little to help privacy conspiracists to think anything other than how we may all end up plugged into a central core sharing every aspect of our lives. Surely they should have gone half way.
As the film reveals the enigmatic connection between Atlas and Harlan later on, “Atlas” goes further off the rails amid visual designs and thematic ideas that feel borrowed from other (and better) films that came before it. And for a “our future depends on this”-type tale, the stakes never quite come together in this one though, why would this all happen how would she even survive as a human unless she were superhuman. But “Atlas” does have Jennifer Lopez in all her starry glory in the driver’s seat. This on its own wont save this rail crash of a movie from bombing, the acting alone is not enough to keep us glued to this mess.
Perhaps if the time was spent in the dialogue, stretching the storyline outside our hero alone there may have been more to this than just a one person and the narrator (AI).
When you sit watching this, we cant help think how hard this must have been to actually film, with 90% or more of this being generated what did they have to interact with in person, it is making the act of filmaking more akin to game designers than movie makers.
If you like sci-fi then at least give it a once over, but only if you have the spare time.
3/5 from us on this one just for the effects and effort.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may have missed