Atlas Review – If You Take It Less Seriously, It’s Quite Funny

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 24, 2024
Jennifer Lopez in Atlas
Jennifer Lopez in Atlas (Credit - Netflix)


Imagine it’s a comedy, and you’ll be absolutely fine.

After watching Atlas, my only thought is that I respect Jennifer Lopez for taking the Netflix money. I could have easily opened this review complaining about the streaming giant’s tendency to create big-budget, poorly scripted popcorn movies, but my primary thought is that I can only admire the money made by A-listers by doing nothing. Why wouldn’t they take the money? Lopez may be an elite, but she’s human like us, with financial ambitions. 

I could also discuss how Atlas warns about the future of AI and that if we do not regulate technology that is more intelligent than us, it could be the end of humanity as we know it. But that would be giving far too much respect to the movie, and there’s far better media out there that deserves those platitudes. 

Yes, Atlas is mind-blowingly bad, but why would you not want to see Lopez bumbling around a robot resembling those symbiotic machines from Pacific Rim? It’s pretty funny that the script required Lopez, most of the time, to act like she’s suffering from impact and vibrations inside a mech AI robot, and how stupid she would have looked if we could see the green screen. I would not have been surprised, or even taken a double turn, if I saw Ben Affleck pass her a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee while she pretended to be struggling with increased Gs.

And then you have a cameo from Mark Strong, who fits into any movie regardless of quality, and then Simu Liu, the film’s villain, who is likely wondering how he’s gone from Shang-chi to Barbie to this. 

It would be a waste of time for me to heavily criticize Atlas. Netflix is not making these movies for awards. It’s to bring the blockbuster to your home. The selling point is having big, household names in your living room with the press of a button. Maybe I’m growing up, but I tried my best not to get angry.

The story follows the titular character Atlas (Lopez), who has been assigned a mission to track down AI robot terrorist Harlan (Liu) on another planet. Harlan is determined to destroy humanity. He believes humans are imperfect for the planet and will destroy themselves anyway (he probably has a point.) There’s also a connection to the past between Harlan and Atlas, which is supposed to be the movie’s driving force. 

If there was a script, I doubt it had any rewrites after test runs. The movie is two hours of the cast trying to say as much cheesy, quotable rubbish as possible. But I just laughed at it. Life is too short. Ironically, I wouldn’t be surprised if the script had been written by AI. I mean, for what it’s worth, if I did write it, I’d claim it’s AI anyway to avoid embarrassment. 

So here’s my challenge to my readers. Grab your favorite snacks, get comfortable, and instead of trying to take Atlas seriously, just let yourself go and laugh at it for two hours instead. At least then, it serves its purpose. 


Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Streaming Service