As long as there have been machines in films, they have been turning on their makers. But rarely has a human being been caught in the middle of that showdown, as has Antonio Banderas in Automata, an intimate new speculative fiction film by Spanish director Gabe Ibañez.
The story looks fifty years into the future, at a moment when the planet’s ecology is on the point of collapse, just as the robots have caught up with their masters. According to Ibañez, the film is about “this moment where artificial intelligence arrives at the same place as human intelligence.”
And, in the middle of all that, an accident investigator — played by Banderas — gets to know the robots a little better than he bargained for, and even starts seeing their side of things, as the machines Planet of the Apes-like turn on their rulers.
Sci-fi geeks will also be intrigued by the array of different robots makes and models – from a low-tech, Tonka-like version to sleek, gender-specific designs complete with candy-colored bobs, suggesting a robot civilization with its own hierarchy and class consciousness.
Automata also stars Dylan McDermott, Robert Forster, and most notably, Melanie Griffith appearing alongside her now-former husband, Banderas.
Automata opens on October 10.