By Michelle Halloween
On a winter holiday, set in the (probably) not-too-distant future, a cautionary tale unfolds in “Automation.” When Auto, a prototype, very human-like robot learns he will be decommissioned for upgraded machines, he, like any of us, doesn’t take the news so well. “Automation” delivers a unique twist on the dangers of when technology is used to replace humans for faster productivity.
Unlike films we have seen before, when the robots become self aware, “Automation” forces the audience to keep their attention on the human and Auto interactions. Made with simple, practical effects, the film offers a nostalgic sci-fi experience. You may find yourself sympathizing with Auto’s dilemma and his impulses to defend not only himself, but also his new friend (with great hair), Jenny, and the foreign concept he discovers because of her, friendship. Auto is determined to protect Jenny’s interests, even if that means she needs to be protected from himself, by any means.
The film triggers the familiar angst against large and small corporations when they decide to disregard dedicated and not-so-dedicated employees for shiny and deceivingly efficient new technology. Auto isn’t the only one being affected by Alert Insulation’s decision to change how things are done. The human staff’s jobs are threatened as well, and “Automation” dives into a brief story about each one before the mayhem begins.
“Automation” is a fun-filled holiday treat that will have you speaking up at your next staff meeting - especially if new innovations are being introduced. Profit over people and profit over Artificial Intelligence doesn’t bode well for the bigger picture. Maybe take up that lifelong urge to pursue that singing career.
AUTOMATION will land on Blu-Ray and VOD December 3rd from Epic Pictures and DREAD