Let’s see what we got here.
As per the tagline, Olivier Gruner in “Automatic” is the ultimate weapon – half-human and fully automatic.
Are you already impressed? You should be!
Following Olivier Gruner’s film career, it is not a surprise that once again, he portrays a robot or as they like to call it – half machine, half-human.
That is the main concept of the sci-fi action thriller directed by the horror director John Murlowski (“Amityville: A new Generation”, “Black Cadillac”).
In the beginning of the 90’s, the cyborg sub-genre was still new and trendy.
The audience loved not only to listen to an emerging punk group called “Nirvana” but also to have fun watching actioners about cybernetic organics and androids.
As per the critics, the director John Murlowski has succeeded in creating a “magnificent science fiction thriller”.
As per the audience, if this is true, all due credit must go to the ex-helicopter pilot and kickboxing champion turned actor Olivier Gruner.
Monsieur Gruner plays the ultra-modern, designed as a ‘security system’ android J269.
In the rest of the cast, we also see the gorgeous Daphne Ashbrook (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”, “Doctor Who”) in the role of Nora Rochester and John Glover (“Robocop 2”, “Gremlins 2”) as the villain Goddard Marx.
The other actors who have remarkable roles are Jeff Kober as Major West and the hot as hell Marjean Holden (“Mortal Combat: Annihilation”), playing the badass Epsilon Leader.
“Robgen Industries” manufactures human-alike robots, designed and programmed to protect the humans from assaults.
Such modernistic chef d’oeuvre is the highly skilled in martial arts android J269.
One night, the CEO of the company tries to rape his sexy secretary Nora Rochester and J269 unwillingly witnesses this atrocious scene.
In an attempt to protect the poor woman, the android accidentally kills his “father” the CEO of “Robgen”.
Unfortunately, all that is recorded on the cameras in the room and in order to prevent a media fiasco, the company chairman Goddard Marx gives immediate orders for the extermination of both J269 and Nora Rochester.
That is how J269 and Nora found themselves being chased by a team of highly skilled mercenaries all across a huge skyscraper
This is a Funny Action Movies Because:
In order to hook us, the movie starts, by showing Olivier’s muscles with very close camera shots.
At some point later, at the official presentation of the company’s product line, the J269 machines are marketed as peaceful kitchen robots.
They can cook, they can serve the table, they can clean and in general, they are the perfect housewives that can easily be part of the family idyll.
They even come with very sweet sweaters, looking adorable. Like the famous investor, Warren Buffet said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get”.
When a menace occurs, however, things drastically change.
Then, the J269 cyborgs transform into the ultimate killing machines that can kill everything, anywhere, anytime in a thousand different ways.
During this ridiculous marketing demonstration, one of the J269 models cold-bloodedly exterminates a gang of hilariously looking thugs who break into a family’s house.
Well, it is not so sure if the investment of purchasing such ‘kitchen robot’ is worthwhile, since, after his rampage, the poor family would definitely need a new house, because J269 destroys it, by kicking and shooting the criminals until even the roof burns to the ground.
It is also not so sure if Olivier Gruner enters into a character in order to look so stiff and slow, or he is just being himself, but the result is pretty convincing.
He talks slowly and at some point looks like an autistic kid.
Even in the most criticаl and dangerous situations when both human and android are under heavy gunfire, he keeps dumbly repeating- “Are you O.K., Mrs. Rochester?”, or “Can I do something for you, Mrs. Rochester?”
One of the fun to watch scenes is when J269 repairs his face skin with a stapler. It makes him look even more strange and absurd.
In one of the intense action scenes, the cyborg manages to blow up a helicopter with a single pistol shot. Really?!
Are you a fan of the “got to have” one-liners?
This laughable action flick has the mandatory for every actioner funny one-liners like for instance – “Beware, J269 is the most sophisticated warrior ever made”. To which Major West answers, “I thought I was, asshole”.
The fun continues to roll in one of the last scenes when J269 and Nora show how hopelessly naïf they are.
They are trying to escape Goddard’s people by hiding under a desk.
Suddenly Goddard proposes them just go and he reassures them that they will stay unharmed.
Without any hesitation, they believe his words, show themselves and start to walk calmly to the exit of the hall when a rain of bullets starts to fall.
At this very moment, you keep thinking- “Damn, if the bad guys don’t kill them then I will. They deserve to die, because of their deep stupidity”.
Sure enough, in the whole process of surviving, Nora Rochester falls in love with her cybernetic protector.
I mean who wouldn’t?!
There is one particularly absurd scene where the sweet love between the two pigeons is highly overreacted.
Nora kisses J269 passionately and then for a whole minute we witness her inability to take his eyes off him like if he is her long-awaited soul mate.
In this very moment, even for a short, one can almost drop a tear…while laughing.
In brief, the one man army sci-fi actioner “Automatic” is worth your time.
Being totally unpretentious and fun, the film is very action-packed and entertaining enough to keep your attention.
Olivier Gruner is perfect in his second role as a cyborg after giving a ‘strong’ performance in “Nemesis”.
He reveals his entire kickboxing potential (thus hiding the lack of acting one) and manages to show off his amazing round kicks and fast punches.
Daphne Ashbrook’s sex appeal is intrusively underlined with several skirt flashes but as per my opinion, the movie suffers from the lack of the regular sex scene between the action hero and his girl.
The kiss between Nora and J269 is absolutely not enough.
Feel free to write an e-mail to the director, advising him to include some robotic Kamasutra in the sequel.
“Automatic” is a top-notch Olivier Gruner vintage movie and a hilarious addition to the cyborg sub-genre.
GO OLDSCHOOL. GRAB THE VHS ON AMAZON.
Which are your favorite cyborg movies? Please drop me a comment below!
Also if you like the sci-fi genre, I highly recommend checking out this wonderful website that has everything sci-fi related.