‘Atlas’ Review- Jennifer Lopez’s Netflix Sci-Fi Thriller Short Circuits


The big picture

  • Netflix's sci-fi action thriller,
    It has outstanding graphics that create video game sensations.
  • Jennifer Lopez's performance in particular struggles due to the underwhelming and often awkward script.
  • The film's innovative use of lighting and color, especially in fight sequences, adds to its visual appeal.

Remember the Y2K hysteria and how we were told to shut down our computers at midnight on New Year's Eve 1999, for fear of a digital apocalypse? The idea of ​​our trusted desktops rebelling against us was once considered a legitimate concern, as we worried about an uprising that would drag us back into the Dark Ages. But fast forward to the present day and the fear surrounding the technology has grown exponentially with the increased presence of artificial intelligence. Since then, movies have used these anxieties to scare audiences in the same way. Although, admittedly, the real scare is how some of these movies even got the green light! Because for everyone terminatora dozen “Term-later” wannabes barely create a spark, like Netflix's new sci-fi action thriller, atlas starring Jennifer Lopez.

Although the film is tonally unique, but a little stretched in its plot, it is basically a mix of survival stories alien with Shipwrecked – complete with Wilson vibes! Directed by Brad Peytona filmmaker who is no stranger to sci-fi action flicks like rampage i Saint Andrew, atlas is a sci-fi movie as you imagine with its cold alien planets and futuristic worlds. With visually stunning graphics that evoke a strong theatrical spirit and an immersive video game feel, Netflix's feature set 150 Years in the Future perfectly combines the best of both through detailed futuristic world-building. But even with this hybrid form of entertainment bordering on a love story about surviving the reality he finds himself in to overcome an inner trauma, the vehicle starring Lopez is a co-star. Simu Liu, Sterling K. Browni Mark Strong, never reaches its full form. Instead, it is moderately entertaining thanks to its VFX, but falls short with its performances and story as the overall idea trumps the final product.

Atlas (2024)

Publication date
May 24, 2024

Main genre
Science fiction

Leo Sardarian, Aron Eli Coleite

Safehouse Pictures, ASAP Entertainment, Nuyorican Productions, Berlanti-Schechter Films


What is Jennifer Lopez's “Atlas” about?

Opening with a realistic news montage full of stories about the dangers of AI robots, atlas provides a quick account of the damage and death caused by these sentient beings led by Harlan (Liu), the world's first artificially intelligent terrorist. Created by a smart scientist (Lana Parilla) that ushered the world into a new era and the mother of our film's heroine, Atlas Shepherd (López), Harlan is a cunning villain that the humans can't seem to shut down even with all their new technology, and they have a lot of it. For starters, the Hollywood sign will be digitized in the future. Harlan, with his piercing blue robot eyes and faded double-hyphenated hair, has committed genocide over the years, killing millions of humans with his sprawling AI robot terror cell. It is a very real war pitting man against technology.

Naturally, this is where Atlas comes in: a brilliant but misanthropic counter-terrorism analyst for the International Coalition of Nations (ICN) with a deep distrust of AI and a deep disdain for her “brother”, Harlan. He lives very comfortably in a George Jetson life seen outside his window, wears Tom Ford glasses (which, good to know, still exist almost 200 years later), listens to Chopin, and always beats the computer at chess. But he's also deeply suspicious of all robots because of his damaged history with Harlan. Of course, her neuroticisms come into play after ICN General Boothe (Strong) pairs her with Colonel Banks (Brown) to capture the renegade bot who escaped Earth and has spent the past 28 years waiting for the his time on a distant planet called GR39. while the film starts to find its legs after 30 minutes and offers some powerful action sequences that kick off the actual plot. after a mission gone wrong, it's the slow build-up that does it atlas feel let down.


Jennifer Lopez faced reptilian mayhem in this pulse-pounding horror film

This music icon pitted against a giant reptile is the fight we never knew we needed.

But thankfully, this moment is enough to help balance out these flawed pacing issues to create curiosity. With López and his rebound Shades of blueHair of the Era looking to save the day, we see his aversion to technology through interactions with the only AI being who can save his life: a mechanical suit named Smith (voiced by Gregory James Cohan). Mixture of elements The odd couple between Atlas and Smith for a merry comedy, Atlas' ability to rely on technology to save humanity is stretched further than it needs to be and feels hollow. While it's appreciated that the build-up is an attempt to create organic chemistry between human and machine and understand their childhood trauma, it's just not there and the pair find their cues falling more than once .

The script “Atlas” is not calculated with his performances

atlas it has some really funny elements and moments, but overall it's pretty bumpy. Just when you finally think it's going to pick up, it suddenly veers off into another void of emptiness that speaks of a flimsy script. written by Leo Sardarian and rewritten by heroes writer and co-producerAron Eli Coleite, atlas it contains a lot of disconnected fabric that even the stellar cast can't seem to salvage. Instead, much of the cast seems to be doing their best to get the most out of the script, but the performances are just average in what is a formulaic template for another Hollywood terrorist movie.

López, who has given us some of his best work in roles like out of sight i Hustlers it doesn't work well with the movie at all. As a long-time fan and someone who appreciates her taking on a challenge in a diverse filmography, there are times when you can feel the actress' discomfort permeate the often green screen. you can see Lopez is struggling in the scenes when she talks to AI Smith, and while her discomfort can be related to the character traits, she's not convincing enough as a performance.. There are moments where he has what appears to be a monologue that works, but it's in micro-moments because the script doesn't offer enough to work with. It's this lack of connectivity between the actors that goes away atlas feeling lean in so many parts.

The film stars three greats in Brown, Liu and Strong, but they are given the most unmemorable roles that serve as simple plot devices for López's character that leave us indifferent. Brown has a bit more leeway with his character and we get that he's a tough guy, but he's too aligned with a trope that highlights the normative masculinity of military movies. Meanwhile, Boothe is the understanding boss who vouches for her, but we never see him again until the end of the film when he makes a joke about a plant he named with Smith while on the GR39. Liu has given us a lot to cheer for over the years, but this cold Terminator-esque baddie isn't one of them. Although Harlan is a good AI robot at first, his wires cross and send him on another journey. It's kind of hard to tell any change in acting between the two because the script makes them both play very cold, even when he was a good guy.

'Atlas' gets the software update it deserves with its graphics

Jennifer Lopez riding in a robotic suit in front of a green screen in a behind-the-scenes photo from Atlas.
Image via Netflix

When it comes to atlas'visual effects, this is where the film thrives. Border styles that remember Pacific Rim thanks to VFX supervisor, Lindy De QuattroThe previous work of Guillermo del Toro movie i Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, atlas goes all out with these gigantic mech suits that feel grand and spectacular in their creation. Created with an impressive sense of scale and realism, these tall robotic giants have great attention to detail and are very fluid in their movement. Not to mention, there are some very captivating details and textures seen in the creation of the outfits worn by the ICN rangers, including Lopez's Atlas.

One of the things that Peyton does well with the film is his innovative use of lighting and color, evident in fight sequences filled with vibrant hues and dramatic lighting. It creates a desolate and cold atmosphere, but marked by very strange and otherworldly atmospheres that add to the inner reflections of the character. But it's the battle scenes that are the highlight of the film with visual effects combining complex choreography with seamless CGI integration. There's a dynamism behind the film's camerawork as it hones in on tight, intimate shots. It makes the audience feel part of the battle through an immersive approach.

atlas he aims high with his sci-fi show though over the course of its rather bumpy two hours, it lands somewhere in the middle. Peyton is responsible for dropping stunning visuals and action-packed sequences, but the lack of heart and soul means it's just another movie that will come and go on Netflix. With an underutilized cast, atlas it never comes together and fails to find its internal algorithm. Lopez, who is usually a powerhouse, didn't deserve this movie after giving us some of her best work in Tarsem Singh science fiction thriller, The cell. She's so heavily scripted that she didn't quite know what she wanted to be, letting herself go atlas be a missed opportunity that will find you wanting more.

Atlas movie poster showing Jennifer Lopez looking skyward flying a spaceship

Atlas (2024)


Atlas struggles with a weak script and underused performances, making it an entertaining but ultimately unsatisfying experience.


  • The outstanding graphics and visual effects of the film create a strong theatrical spirit that is also reminiscent of robust video games.

  • Despite the film's visual strengths, the script is flimsy and disjointed, failing to provide enough material for the cast.
  • Lopez seems uncomfortable with the script, and the attempt to build organic chemistry between Atlas and the AI ​​Smith suit falls flat, resulting in interactions that often feel hollow and unconvincing.
  • The supporting cast mainly serves as a plot device for Lopez's character, leaving them with unmemorable parts.

atlas is available to stream on May 24 on Netflix in the US

Watch on Netflix


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