In the near future, solar flares from the sun have made Earth almost completely un-livable, with the small population that remains flocking to colonies in an effort to escape radiation. In an attempt to survive, humanity builds Automatas, machines designed to help rebuild in the harsh environment. They are given two protocols: the first being to preserve human life and the second limits them from ever fixing themselves. Jacq Vaucan works as an insurance agent for ROC robotics corporation, the company who builds the Automatas. One day Jacq is brought in to investigate a claim that a robot was fixing itself. Reluctant to believe the claim at first, Jacq soon discovers a series of evidence that suggets the Automatas may be more alive than they ever imagined. Gabe Ibanez's Automata is a slick, low-budget science fiction film that explores the age-old scifi ideals centered around machines ability to become self-aware. Automata is a film that questions what it means to be human, arguing that evolving machines are no different than humanities evolution. Given the film's relatively small budget, Automata is an impressive looking feature, that effectively creates this harsh futuristic world. Unfortunately, the film's sleek exterior can't mask its thematic shortcomings, delivering a derivative storyline of men and machines and how they are more similar than different. Automata does have some profound moments, with a few beautiful scenes that subtlely question what it means to be alive, but overall the narrative itself is too conventional and derivative to be something truly special.
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