Jacq Vaucan is an insurance agent of ROC robotics corporation who investigates cases of robots violating their primary protocols against altering themselves. What he discovers will have profound consequences for the future of humanity.
In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.
In 2044, solar storms have killed 99.7 % of the world's population and only 21 million people survive. The ROC Corporation has designed and built robots called Automata Pilgrim 7000 to help to rebuild the world. These robots have two security protocols; they can neither harm humans nor alter themselves or other robots. When police officer Sean Wallace shoots a robot and claims that it was altering itself, ROC insurance agent Jacq Vaucan is placed in charge of the investigation. Soon he believes that there is a "clocksmith" illegally modifying the robots. Jacq wants to live in the coast and asks his boss and friend Robert Bold to transfer him with his pregnant wife Rachel Vaucan to the coast. Robert offers the possibility if Jacq resolves the case. Jacq and Wallace go to a brothel where the modified robot Cleo attends and Wallace shoots its leg, expecting that the owner will lead them to the clocksmith. They meet Duprè but she is not the clocksmith that is modifying the robots. Soon ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
An intriguing premise ruined by a lack of a second act
An interesting premise is the key to a quality sci-fi film, and this is something Automata most definitely has. Set in a dystopian, Blade Runner-esqe future where much of the world has been rendered uninhabitable and the remainder of humanity lives in bleak, isolated cities, robots do most of the menial tasks in society. These robots are governed by two unalterable protocols, they cannot harm living beings, or alter themselves or any other robot. When Jacq (Antonio Banderas), a robot insurance claims agent, is sent to investigate a robot which a junkie cop (Dylan McDermott) shot when he saw it repairing itself, he uncovers more and more questions surrounding the robots and their ability to think and develop.
Unfortunately, that is around where the film stops really making sense. Around a third of the way into the film, Jacq is driven out of the city into the wasteland and all character behaviors from just about everyone become puzzling. A series of characters whom you don't really care about make decisions that just don't make sense working towards a finale that simply makes no sense given everything they had told you so far. A complete lack of any notable acting and inconsistent direction fail to save a film that had tons of promise, but completely lacked a second and third act.
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