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The film clearly pays homage to Asimov, while avoiding the polished look of the I, Robot utopia. Ibanez seems to be the Spanish Neill Blookkamp. Having started out in visual effects, he is now writing and directing his own features. That’s not to say I expect this to be the next District 9, and Antonio Banderas is no Sharlto Copley. But he’s done enough good work in the past for me to be interested in this film and what his performance might bring to it.
My primary hope is that the film doesn’t sacrifice the themes it’s appearing to want to illuminate for a bunch of unnecessary action. I mean, I love action movies, but it’s easy for it to get gratuitous (The Matrix Reloaded, I’m looking at you!). Investigating what it means to be human and delving into the idea of what creates consciousness are important themes to honor. Most films barely brush the surface and it’s very disappointing. We’ll see if this one goes down that rabbit hole that other films were afraid to explore.
Automata hits theaters October 10, 2014.