On the surface, things seem pretty straight forward. A human consciousness with memories of having a wife and child wakes up inside a battle droid designated RL7STV. Mr. Jones attempts to troubleshoot the malfunctioning robot through a direct consciousness interface. That doesn’t go so well. Jones’ inquisitive lab technician all but confirms that these combat machines are in part organic, likely human brains put into machine bodies Robocop style. Fearing an outbreak of consciousness among his other robots, Jones orders memory wipes for the entire production line. Unfortunately his efforts are too little too late, and RL7 breaks out of his containment unit.
Some may say that anthropomorphized robots are a bit of a tired cliché. However, I can see two things in this movie that makes the archetype of Archetype a worthwhile gambit.
It’s the lab technician who dangles the first proverbial carrot. It’s easy to miss so I’ve blown up the frame here. Dr. Patrick Stevens, who is likely the consciousness in RL7’s head, is or rather was an employee of Carter-Myung’s biomed division. Call me decadent for yawning at stories that see governments colonizing the bodies of their citizens, it happens too much in the news for it to impact me in fiction, but when corporations do it, such as Omni Consumer Products or the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, I pay attention. The other thing to note here is that Dr. Patrick Stevens was born in 2076 but began working for the company in 2073. I figure that’s either a typo or some really deep story telling.
The other issue at hand is implicit within the movie but made explicit in the credits. RL7 and his comrades are doing a sweep and destroy of a rebel encampment during the movie’s second scene. In what sort of nightmare world is this movie set where corporations fight rebels, a decidedly political association of people, using war machines that employ human minds as their organic operating systems? Also, what did Dr. Stevens do to end up fighting on the front lines of this particular battle? In five short minutes Archetype builds a world that teems with intrigue. Combine that with gorgeous visuals and solid acting and I am sold on this story.
Hopefully the wait won’t be too long before Mr. Sims is able to get his feature length version of Archetype off the ground.
5 templar crosses out of 5
Directed by: Aaron Sims
Starring: Robert Joy, Elle Newlands, and David Anders
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