by Lee Hazell
Usually, when robots become conscious in films, it’s not the task of the audience to sympathise with the machines. Then again, it’s never the robots being massacred by the humans. In this story, Robots are beginning to develop self-awareness. It doesn’t appear to happen all at once like it does in most movies. Rather, it is a phenomenon that is starting to show signs of emergence, almost like a group of underprivileged citizens showing signs of unrest. I like that it is a more gradual change that allows them to develop as characters rather than as a place for the film to start from. The bots themselves look like the products of the Apple Corperation. Blank slates of white plastic, but with room for customisation, which the bots soon make their own use of. Much like the new Planet of the Apes films, it appears the most human characters in Automata will be the ones who appear the least human on the outside. Is this a good thing for the writers to be able to do so much with blank slates, or does that say something really bad about how we’ve been portraying ourselves as a species?