A budget Blade Runner, sci-fi thriller Automata takes place in a dystopian future where robots are starting to violate their strict security protocols and modify themselves. The discovery forces Antonio Banderas’s burned-out insurance agent to flee the city with a bunch of renegade robots, taking him away from his pregnant wife (Borgen’s Birgitte Hjort Sørensen) and putting him in the cops’ gun-sights. Shot in Bulgaria by Spanish filmmakers and a multinational cast, Automata has some interesting ideas but is let down by its clunky script and even clunkier acting. Banderas is good, though, and things improve when the supporting cast thins out, leaving us to admire the film’s striking visuals and ponder the hero’s existential crisis as he learns that some machines don’t obey their makers.
Certificate 15. Runtime 105 mins. Director Gabe Ibáñez.
Automata is released On Demand on 27th April & on Blu-ray and DVD on 11th May by Lionsgate UK