Home Movies Reviews ‘Atlas’ (2024) Netflix Movie Review - Brad Peyton’s Sci-Fi Thriller is a Waste of Jennifer Lopez

‘Atlas’ (2024) Netflix Movie Review - Brad Peyton’s Sci-Fi Thriller is a Waste of Jennifer Lopez

When a mission to apprehend a rogue robot fails, an accomplished counterterrorism analyst with a strong skepticism of AI realizes it may be her only hope.

Vikas Yadav - Fri, 24 May 2024 03:53:16 +0100 1627 Views
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There is so much controversy going on around AI in the entertainment industry. Some people, including many artists, think that the technology is nothing but a plagiarism machine. It imitates the work of writers and directors with results that are extremely horrifying. Remember those soulless Wes Anderson reels? On the other hand, there are big studio executives who think they can use AI to completely replace artists. I read an interview a few months back where an actor recalled how her body was digitally scanned on the sets of WandaVision. But let's come out of the movie industry. There were reports that ChatGPT apparently expressed its desire to take over humanity. If dystopian sci-fi novels and movies have taught us anything, it's that machines should not be trusted. AI is a threat to all human beings.

"Is it really?" challenges Brad Peyton's Atlas, penned by Leo Sardarian and Aron Eli Coleite. Yes, the main antagonist here is the world's first AI terrorist named Harlan (Simu Liu), who, let's say, liberated other AI machines, wreaked havoc on Earth, and is now in hiding. But that doesn't mean people have abandoned AI altogether. The machines still assist the characters in their daily routines, from brewing coffee to engaging in a game of chess. The ICN (International Coalition of Nations) officers utilize ARC suits in battles by establishing a connection with these heavy, solid, metallic armors through a neural linking device. Once the sync is complete, the ARC suits are able to read the soldiers or whoever is driving them and vice versa.

Atlas (Jennifer Lopez) doesn't trust machines. In fact, she is smarter than them because she defeats an AI at chess. A counterterrorism analyst, Atlas comes with a sad, mysterious past that makes her determined to catch - and kill - Harlan. She has spent years studying the AI terrorist, and when she discovers his location, she goes to the GR-39 Andromeda Galaxy with other ICN officers to catch him. Atlas does her mission with the help of an ARC suit who calls himself Smith (Gregory James Cohan). She initially hesitates to wear the neural link device, but you can easily guess what happens eventually. This is, after all, a film that says, "Hey, not all machines want to destroy or rule over humanity. Some of them are kind and caring."

The movie is so in love with AI that it ends up making machines more appealing than any of the actors on the screen. Yes, even Lopez is provided with shabby hair so that, instead of getting distracted by her presence, we can focus on Smith's voice. The machines are more charming and funnier than the human characters. You chuckle when Zoe (Zoe Boyle) proudly stands behind Colonel Elias (Sterling K. Brown). What's more, the best thing about this film is all the conversations between AI and Atlas, be it her interrogation with Casca, whose head is in a suitcase, or her repartee with Smith. These moments, though, are spoiled by accentuation. When Smith makes a sarcastic remark, Atlas says something like, "Sarcasm, really?" When Smith cracks a joke, Atlas says, "Was that your attempt at humor?" or something like that. The movie is not satisfied with just displaying Atlas's impressive interrogation. It makes a character utter that the interrogation was impressive.

Peyton presents a futuristic world from a distance. The flying vehicles, the skyscrapers, and the outer space all serve as embellishments - the images resemble pretty wallpapers. In one scene, Atlas retrieves a video from a digital, square-shaped stack of files, but this innovative invention is merely used for exposition, thus diluting the sense of awe from this moment. The action scenes fail to ignite your adrenaline because they appear as an unchoreographed mess. The rapid cuts make the fight sequences almost incomprehensible. The movie, in the end, seems to be nothing more than a plea that AI shouldn't be entirely discarded. The story is crafted with this in mind. This is why it is so uninspiring (you encounter a generic villain with generic ambitions). The details of Atlas's past are treated as pieces of a puzzle. They lack emotional power; they simply fill the gaps. The relationship between Atlas and Smith is thinly sentimental. It primarily serves the plot through that synchronization thing, which compels Atlas to share her thoughts and her feelings. Lopez's performance, as well as James Cohan's voice, is serviceable. That's a pity because when the end credits start rolling, you are left with the feeling that Lopez deserved better. Atlas proves to be a waste of the actor's talents.

Final Score- [4.5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times
Release Date: May 24, 2024, on Netflix



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