Interesting Existential SciFi
- Archive review by GI
Archive is a science fiction film that owes a fair bit to Blade Runner (1982), has similarity in theme and vision to Ex Machina (2014) and has a neat visual homage to Metropolis (1927). It's an entertaining film and has a very unexpected twist that I didn't see coming. The story links two separate future technologies into a paranoid thriller plot that works quite well. Theo James plays George, a genius robotics and AI scientist, who is installed in a remote laboratory deep inside a Japanese forest. Loads of things keep going wrong with the building so he's often distracted by having to conduct repairs. His work is the development of android robotics and he is assisted by his first two prototypes while he builds a much more advanced third. But George is also grieving for his wife recently killed in a car accident and at the laboratory he has an 'Archive' box in which the consciousness of his wife is retained for a limited time. This is a technology run by a sinister corporation who routinely arrive to inspect the box. What they and his own boss don't realise is George is planning to break all the rules by transferring his wife's consciousness into the new android he's developing. Even the new android is against the idea! The support cast of Stacy Martin as the wife and Toby Jones as the Archive boss assist in lifting the film even further. This is an enjoyable look at issues of what is real, and 'I think therefore I am' philosophy wrapped up in a good, solid film that works on several levels. Well worth checking out.
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
Very Stylish. Modest, Clever, Tricksy, Enjoyable Sci-Fi Film Set in a virtual Robotic Future
- Archive review by PV
I enjoyed this film. And I adored the absolutely cracking soundtrack - both original score and songs used. That lifts it above most movies for a start.
I am not usually a fan of sci-fi, especially more tricksy, slow post-modern sci-fi movies. I hated MOON - and this film is written and directed by the main actor in that.
However, this film won me over - because it has intelligence and depth. It is not just a CGI-fest though the CGI is impressive, and the landscapes (filmed in Hungary or CGI) are superb and beautiful. The robots give a nod to both METROPOLIS and I though early 1970s film SILENT RUNNING which influenced Pixar's robot sci-fi film WALL-E. The question of what is human and can a robot have feelings predominate.
The unflagged used of flashbacks can confuse a bit though - so you have to pay attention as the timeframe flips back and forth.
Another reviewer says he did not see the plot twist coming - well, I did.. No spoilers but this sort of thing is not new and has been done a lot before in sci-fi films.
The focus is on identity and what it is to be human - an updated version of Frankenstein (the book) maybe? Toby Jones has a bit part but nails it as per usual.
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