‘Atlas’ is a fairly entertaining yet unintelligent take on AI

‘Atlas’ is a fairly entertaining take on AI, but offers nothing phenomenal

/ 03:11 PM May 26, 2024

‘Atlas’ is a fairly entertaining take on AI, but offers nothing phenomenal

Jennifer Lopez in “Atlas” | Image: Screengrab from YouTube/Netflix Philippines

By this time, many narratives tackling the threats of artificial intelligence (AI) have graced our screens. Jennifer Lopez‘s “Atlas” on Netflix is one such narrative, eliciting the same tone that technology imposes a great deal of danger that puts humanity at risk.

“Atlas,” a futuristic action film that tackles the risks of an AI invasion. Set in 2071, where presumably, the world as we know it has seen the bad side of AI after an apocalyptic revolution that happened some 30 years back, led by a rogue AI named Harlan, killed over three million people.


Atlas Shepherd (Lopez), a scientific data analyst, joins a mission in space to track down and destroy Harlan and his band of humanoids that escaped to another galaxy. Having a complete distrust of AI, Atlas is forced to team up with her “robot counterpart,” Smith, that served as her protector when she landed on an abandoned planet following a space attack.

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The movie’s appeal lies in its effort at humor with the witty dialogue exchanges between Atlas and Smith. As they begin to band, the audience begins to witness Atlas partially surrendering her trust on the AI, which picks up her nuances and applies it in their interaction. 

“Atlas” offers solid computer-generated imagery (CGI) that is decent enough to entertain the viewers only in its course of screen time but does not guarantee a lasting impact once the credits roll, in the sense of message and purpose, as it falls short in giving a reflective or intelligent conclusion on artificial intelligence. In other words, “Atlas” is good watch to pass the time, but doesn’t offer anything phenomenal or unique in its production that one can brag about. 

Think of the movie as the live action version of “Baymax,” with Hiro Hamada’s relationship with the pudgy robot hero in “Big Hero 6” (2014), but in CGI-packed visuals to make the experience immersive.

Meanwhile, Lopez bulked up for the titular role to prepare for her action sequences. However, the singer-actress seemed to be holding out in the acting department so that it was like she is just having a monologue in a studio somewhere, and not talking to an AI in the middle of nowhere, scared that her end is about to come as humanoids attack.

Despite this, Lopez showcased her ability to hold the audience’s attention with her distinct charm to play a struggling woman whose mental and physical abilities are always put to the test to become this movie’s stronger points. After all, the Hollywood actress has successfully shown her mastery in the action department with her previous movies, “Enough” (2002) and “The Mother” (2023).


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With Brad Peyton at the directorial helm, the movie tries to bridge the seeming distrust of AI, but could not totally desert the technology because of its use to mankind. Peyton is also behind other apocalyptic pieces such as “San Andreas,” and “Rampage,” as well as another Dwayne Johnson starrer, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.”

Aside from Lopez, “Atlas” also stars Sterling K. Banks, Lana Parilla, Mark Strong, and Simu Liu as the villanous Harlan. Smith is voiced by Gregory James Cohan.

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TAGS: Jennifer Lopez, Movie Review

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