Does Jennifer Lopez Fight Or Accept AI In Netflix's Atlas?

Atlas. Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepherd. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ©2024.
Atlas. Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepherd. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix ©2024. /

In a world where the future of AI is surrounded by controversy, Netflix's Atlas makes that question the center of its storyline but does so without a concrete answer.

Jennifer Lopez gives a strong performance as Atlas, a woman who struggles with grief and guilt as she desperately tries to put an end to the AI world takeover led by Harlan, a bot she has personal experience with.

Atlas does not have an original premise though. Instead, it follows the same formula of so many other AI domination plots, as the robot determines that the best way to save the planet and stop the destruction of the human race through war, is to eliminate most, if not all, of the human race.

But that is not the case for all AI technology in this movie, as Atlas crafts its own kind-hearted robot in Smith, a being that takes on an emotional role similar to that of Baymax in Big Hero 6.

While Smith does not hold the same emotional significance to Atlas that Baymax holds to Hiro, the film's plot does have Atlas rely on Smith when there is no one else she feels she can trust, and it leads to a nice friendship between an AI system and a woman heavily against the mind-merging of humans with AI.

Atlas does not make a strong claim either which way on the use of AI, and avoids declaring the entirety of the group a hero or a villain. Instead, this movie remains firmly in the middle, not quite doing enough to make a stand either way or fully flesh out the concept that AI can stand calmly in the middle forever.

The evil AI characters show no layers, and are either evil or follow their leader without question. The good AI has the potential to become evil, as the movie shows, but remains a steadily good presence in the film's storyline.

Jennifer Lopez works overtime to try and show a range of emotion in a film where the narrative is still a major topic of conversation in the entertainment industry and many others.

What would the world look like if AI continued to take jobs from people? Can AI be good? Is AI destined to be evil? While Atlas relies on the premise that the movie will not choose a side, even if its title character does, this is still not a film that adds anything new to the AI robot apocalypse genre than what already exists.

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