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ATLAS

"Mixed Benefits"

What You Need To Know:

ATLAS is a new Netflix science fiction adventure starring Jennifer Lopez. The title heroine is a cybernetic analyst who’s opposed to much of the artificially intelligent robots and machines she helps build. Atlas is involved in searching for a rogue robot named Harlan that her mother “brought to life” and who almost destroyed Earth 28 years ago. When Earth discovers the planet where Harlan may have escaped, Atlas is determined to enter the fight. She joins the team traveling to the planet to find and defeat Harlan.

ATLAS is a fast, furious and fun popcorn adventure. However, the movie sometimes gets a bit carried away with its story. For example, the heroine miraculously survives a supersonic freefall onto a planet’s surface. ATLAS has a mixed worldview. For example, the heroine and other characters consistently take morally positive actions. Also, the movie stresses the importance and power of trust. However, the movie mixes this content with Romantic, humanist notions of technology, humanity, life, and artificial intelligence. ATLAS also has intense scenes of violence and slightly excessive foul language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution

Content:

(PaPa, BB, Ro, H, C, LLL, VV, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Mixed pagan worldview with moral, Romantic and humanist where moral actions are consistently taken by the heroine and other characters, and the importance and power of trust are stressed, but the trust is largely demonstrated in relation to artificial intelligence and non-human characters, and movie also stresses a Romantic, humanist impression that “life is life” and that trusting technology is as integral as trusting God or people, but there are some light redemptive elements such as a character says he has faith in the existence of a soul, and a side character makes a sacrifice;

Foul Language:
About 21 obscenities (including two “f” words, one written on paper and the other spoken) and 13 strong and light profanities;

Violence:
Lots of strong and light, often intense violence includes some war violence between humans and synthetic robots in opening scenes of army operations, a woman interrogates a humanoid robotic head and electrocutes it until it eventually explodes with an eye popping out, a spaceship full of soldiers is hit with many rockets that kill many of them, many humans are killed in aerial combat in a planet’s atmosphere while they try to land, heroine hits the surface of a planet at unreal speeds and is knocked out (dried blood flows from her head), a battlefield graveyard of many dead bodies in mech suits are shown in one scene (some blood on heads and bodies), heroine in a mechanical suit combats several assailants in a forest (no blood), heroine is picked up by an atmospheric storm and thrown to the ground, an ion bomb causes a sinkhole into which two people fall, heroine has a bone fracture which is set and bandaged inside her mechanical suit (exposed bone briefly shown with blood on the wound), a robot sticks a needle in a human’s bloody eye (disturbing scene with blood, agony and screams), a synthetic robot is blown up with mines and a woman in a mechanical suit crushes its skull (yellow liquid spews out), man is shown with a bloody face after having been tortured; heroine in mechanical suit attacks a cybernetic army cutting some in half with blades and tearing others limb from limb and blasting others into oblivion, a spaceship is blown up in the atmosphere, a synthetic robot faces off against heroine in an artificially intelligent mechanical suit, a woman in an AI mech suit, and some blood on heroine’s shoulders and face after an intense battle;

Sex:
No sex;

Nudity:
No explicit nudity, but a female synthetic robot is shown naked with its breasts blurred out;

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
A artificially intelligent mechanical device says it’s pronouns are “she and her” and there’s a revenge aspect to the heroine’s personal mission.

More Detail:

ATLAS is a new Netflix science fiction adventure starring Jennifer Lopez. The title character is a cybernetic analyst who’s ironically opposed to much of the AI she’s helped build. When she realizes Earth is again menaced by the synthetic humanoid robot, Harlan, that she and her mother “brought to life,” Atlas is determined to enter the fight. She decides to join the team traveling to a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy to find and defeat Harlan. However, the ship, commander and most of the team are wiped out. So, Atlas is forced to sync her mind with an artificially intelligent mechanical battle suit. Can she overcome her aversions and many other obstacles to save Earth?

ATLAS is a thrilling adventure which draws on key concepts from Isaac Asimov’s robot stories to BLADERUNNER, the acclaimed Harrison Ford movie developed from a novel by Phillip K. Dick. The movie’s story dynamic of a technology-averse heroine who learns to use advanced technology to combat an out-of-control Artificial Intelligence is compelling. Jennifer Lopez is convincing and relatable in her role. However, several times the creative team get a bit carried away with the story and forget that any story, no matter how fantastic, must accord with the rules governing their secondary world. An example of this is when Agent Atlas hits the planet’s surface in her mech suit, traveling at unreal speeds, and hits her head against the inside of her titanium suit. By any measure, this would have broken her neck and smashed her head. If one can look past these issues, ATLAS is a lot of fun for the summer. It remains a fast, furious and fun popcorn science fiction movie.

ATLAS has a mixed pagan worldview. For example, the heroine and other characters consistently take morally positive actions. Also, the movie stresses the importance and power of trust. However, this trust is often demonstrated in relation to artificially intelligent and other non-human characters. In that light, the movie promotes Romantic, humanist notions that “life is life” and that trusting technology is as integral as trusting God or people. Much like the “love is love” pagan assumption of Western postmodern culture, these ideas undermine biblical notions of trusting Jesus and being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Also, ATLAS has no overt positive references to God or even the concept of God, although the God-like powers of advanced AI robots are on full display. As a result, the movie has a strong vibe in the mode of the futurist inventor and computer scientist Ray Kurzweil, who looks to advanced artificial intelligence as a way to, in his words, “become God without believing in God” (see his book, THE SINGULARITY IS NEAR). Despite this, one character in ATLAS mentions that he has faith in the existence of a soul, and another character makes a sacrifice in one scene.

Thus, ATLAS is an exciting popcorn movie, but some of its underlying assumptions about humanity, people, and artificial life and intelligences, are troubling. ATLAS also has intense scenes of violence and slightly excessive foul language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for teenagers and adults.


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