Atlas: Movie Review

Atlas Movie Review: AI-tlas

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"Hey ChatGPT, can you make me a synopsis for a generic movie revolving around AI?" We wouldn't be surprised if the screenplay of "Atlas" came from the brilliant mind of an AI because this film felt as mind-numbingly generic as you can get. It doesn't help that the visual effects came off as an artificial mess, much like its story. Not even Jennifer Lopez's commendable performance can save this film from being Netflix's mediocre fodder.

In the future, a rebellion led by AI terrorist Harlan (Simu Liu) almost wipes out humanity. Eventually, humans find a way to fight back, and Harlan flees the planet, vowing to return one day to finish his mission. Twenty-eight years later, one of Harlan's accomplices is captured and interrogated by Atlas Shepherd (Jennifer Lopez), a brilliant data analyst with a deep distrust of artificial intelligence. She uncovers Harlan's location and joins the mission to capture the renegade robot. But when their plans go wrong, her only hope of saving humanity's future is to trust the thing she hates the most.

It's clear why there are no fully fleshed-out human characters outside of Jennifer Lopez's Atlas Shepherd. The hyper-focus on hating and eventually trusting AI means that, other than Atlas and her AI compatriot, no one else can get close to her. From Mark Strong to Sterling K. Brown, humans in this film are used as minor pawns to move the story – and whether they live or die, we just didn't care. The film aimed to make Smith the AI relatable to viewers and the cornerstone of "Atlas," but it simply failed in its execution. We couldn't connect or feel any compelling emotions as the interface between Atlas and Smith grew by literal "percentages" in the story. Even the sacrifice of Smith in the film's climactic end misses the mark – humans die, but AI can be revived, and that's how the film actually ends. For us, the story was a mess of generic and uninspired ideas that never gel together to make a compelling whole. Jennifer Lopez delivered a great performance and was one of the film's brighter spots and it's such a shame that it all goes down the drain this time.

Rating: 2 reels

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