Automation is the sci-fi world’s The Office meets Terminator.
Automation is a sci-fi movie from director Garo Setian, starring Elissa Dowling (Tales of Halloween), Sadie Katz (Bus Party to Hell) and Parry Shen (Hatchet) and follows a workplace robot that transforms into a killing machine after learning it is going to get replaced by a more efficient model.
Automation follows a company that has welcomed in a robot named AUTO who has been improving the efficiency in the company by over 200% while showing the cost of staff going down. Now Susan (Katz) and Bill (Jeff Rector) have decided to replace the rest of the staff with a new model of AUTO. With the company looking to move forward with plans, it isn’t only the human force being replaced; AUTO doesn’t take to pleasantly to this and starts going on a path of destruction to stop himself from being terminated.
Automation has a story that is diving into a very real-world discussion, with technology, in this case, replacing humans in the workplace. AUTO works side by side with human employees who are slowly getting replaced by his work, which is an open topic for workers now. Where the story throws out a different spin is by seeing what it is like when one of the robots themselves is looking to be upgraded; seeing him being unwanted, just like the humans he is working side by side with or replacing. Everything on this side is the highlight of the film — where the story can fall short is where AUTO becomes the threat while trying to keep his job because it just becomes a simple chase sequence, which doesn’t get close to just how fun The Belko Experiment was last year.
Automation has performances from Elissa Dowling as a very likable character who is friendly to everybody around her, including AUTO, being one of the few people that treats him like another employee, rather than just a robot. She brings the dreamer character to life, which does make her easy to relate to. Sadie Katz as the greedy boss is fun to watch too, with the two ladies having the most to do in the film, while the male stars just fill certain stereotypical office staffers.
Automation uses the sci-fi elements to show us in a technology-filled world. We get glimpses of other machines working, just outside of the warehouse, so we know we are in the future, with the robot having a very realistic look to it, showing it could be the nearer future rather than the distant. We do see some weaknesses in the special effects while the practical ones never look out of place.
Overall Automation is an entertaining sci-fi film that does bring to life the reality of technology coming through the workplace. It has strong performances from the leading cast and flows smoothly.
Darren starting writing for films at Movies Reviews 101. He joined the Ready Steady Cut team in 2018 and is a proud member of the LAMB (Large Association of movie bloggers).