Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…
Antonio Banderas stars as an insurance investigator for a robot-manufacturing corporation in this dystopic mystery, the plot of which will be very familiar to sci-fi fans. In the future, an environmental catastrophy kills most of the planet’s population. The remaining people create autonomous robots to help them survive, taking over for the blue-collar workers. The robots operate on two principles: do not allow harm to come to humans, and do not self-modify. Banderas’ character is dropped into the middle of a mystery when he discovers that the robots have become self-aware and have begun to repair and enhance themselves. The film isn’t bad, and the first act does better with its premise than the similar I, Robot, but halfway through the film it appears that the production just ran out of money. The robots literally drag Banderas out into the desert, and the rest of the movie becomes a meditation on what consciousness is, failing to break any new ground on the subject. The special effects are good, and the film shows a lot of promise in its first half hour or so, but ultimately, Automata was forgettable. Though it’s always nice to see Robert Forster in a movie.
3 out of 5
This bizarre attempt to bring the character of Frankenstein’s monster into the Underworld style of goth-y action movie is a complete and utter dud. The monster finds himself caught in a war between – get this – demons and gargoyles, with the demons trying to kill him and the gargoyles attempting to make him their ally. Meanwhile, the leader of the demons, played by Bill Nighy, is trying to uncover Victor Frankenstein’s secret to creating life. That’s about it. The story is about as interesting as a boiled cabbage, with the recap of the Frankenstein story in the opening being the most compelling part of the film. It quickly descends into a mess of laughable special effects, boring fight scenes, and Hot Topic costuming. Frankenstein’s monster should never wear a leather trenchcoat, fingerless gloves and a hoodie, guys.
1.5 out of 5
Much like I, Frankenstein, Dracula Untold attempts to give a classic monster story an unnecessary update by transforming the antagonist into the hero, adding a lot of overly stylish but bland fight scenes, and bringing everything into the modern age. Sick of the Turks stealing children from Transylvania to build their army, Vlad the Impaler makes a deal with a Nosferatu-like vampire who lives in a mountain in order to gain the powers that he needs to defeat his enemies. The only catch? He’ll be tempted to drink blood. Sadly, the most interesting thing about Dracula Untold was what was left on the cutting room floor – the vampire who gives Vlad his powers was originally supposed to be Caligula. A neat twist on the Dracula mythos, but one which ended up being excised. The film isn’t as bad as it could have been, and Luke Evans makes a fine Dracula, but ultimately the film makes no impact and is really quite dull.
2 out of 5
See you next Sunday for three more thrilling short reviews!