When we watched the teaser trailer for Jennifer Lopez’s new sci-fi movie Atlas, we said that it looked like a cross between Terminator and The Creator with Neon Genesis Evangelion-like mechs thrown in for good measure. And now that a longer trailer has dropped, we’re thinking much the same. 

The new Netflix movie looks very entertaining, with lots of big robot suits (similar to the powered exoskeletons you see in films like Edge of Tomorrow) and explosions – always a good thing unless you’re watching a period drama. It also has a “can we trust AI?” plot, which is very timely.

In Atlas, Lopez is Atlas Shepherd, a genius data analyst who’s trying to save the human race from a rogue AI – but when she crash lands on a hostile alien planet, she finds herself having to team up with a renegade robot that she doesn’t trust in the slightest. You can watch the official trailer below. 

What to expect from Atlas

It’s hard not to notice the sci-fi tropes in this new trailer, from what are (deliberate?) echoes of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in Alien and Aliens to some distinctly Terminator 2 scenes of AI-powered destruction. And that means our very own Tom Power’s worries appear to be valid: “I pray it isn’t another generic Netflix film offering,” he wrote, adding: “I live in hope it’ll be better than I expect.”

It certainly looks like it’ll deliver some impressive spectacle, and with director Brad Peyton (Rampage, San Andreas and of course, Cats & Dogs The Revenge) on board there’s likely to be plenty of eye candy on-screen. And there’s some impressive talent over the typewriters too, with the writing courtesy of Leo Sadarian (StartUp) and Aron Eli Coleite (Star Trek: Discovery).

I’m hoping this is going to be more than just some CGI mechs walloping each other. As The Creator on Disney Plus and Hulu recently demonstrated, you can have thrilling action, amazing FX and still tell a compellingly human story even in the most sci-fi settings; that too wore some of its influences (notably District 9 and Avatar) on its sleeve but was very much its own movie. And let’s face it, in the canon of Jennifer Lopez movies it’s unlikely that Atlas is going to be ranked alongside Gigli. So it’s got that going for it at least.

Atlas will be streaming on Netflix from May 24.

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