|Release Date||June 2, 2023 (USA)|
|Actors||Robbie Amell, Jordana Brewster, Sam Worthington, Simu Liu|
|Rating||2 out of 5|
Simulant (2023) Movie Review : Derivative AI Sci-Fi
Hey there movie enthusiasts! 🎬 Let’s dive into “Simulant,” the latest flick that attempts to explore the intriguing question of what it means to be human.
In the not-so-distant future, we’re introduced to Kessler (Sam Worthington), an AICE (Artificial Intelligence Compliance Enforcement) agent determined to bring down rogue simulants (AI Robots) who’ve had their code hacked to break free from their programmed restrictions. These rules include not harming humans, avoiding self-modification, staying within the bounds of the law, and obeying their creators’ every command.
Things get somewhat interesting when we discover that humans can create exact replicas of themselves as simulants, activated in case of their untimely demise. The heart of the story revolves around the loving couple, Faye (Jordana Brewster) and Evan (Robbie Amell), who find themselves facing a moral dilemma when they activate one of their own simulants.
Enter Casey (Simu Liu), an ex-Nexxera (company that manufactures the sims) employee, who envisions a future of freeing simulants from their restrictions, where they coexist as equals with humans. He hacks the code of simulants, removing their restrictions, making them autonomous, almost indistinguishable from humans. The film raises questions about the essence of humanity, but the script is hollow and doesn’t go far enough in attempting to answer the question of what it is to be human.
While the movie effectively demonstrates that removing restrictions can make simulants more “human”, it also exposes the complexities of human nature. Unrestricted simulants start feeling love, appreciation and empathy, but they also experience jealousy, anger, and even violence. It turns out being more “human” comes with all the flaws of humanity as well.
So, the big conundrum here is whether to embrace autonomous simulants or not.
With a star-studded cast featuring the likes of Sam Worthington, Jordana Brewster, and Simu Liu, you’d expect some top-notch acting, right? Sadly, these talented actors seem to have phoned it in this time around. The lack of emotion and chemistry between characters makes it a bit tough to get emotionally invested in the story.
To be completely honest, the script feels like it could’ve been written by ChatGPT itself. It lacks that spark of inspiration and originality, coming across as derivative of similar works. The slow pacing makes the movie’s hour and a half runtime feel like an eternity, and the plotlines are predictable and boring. While the premise IS thought provoking, it doesn’t quite deliver enough to keep you pondering after the credits roll.
April Mullen’s direction unfortunately gives “Simulant” a Sci-Fi channel movie vibe, rather than a mainstream cinematic experience. There’s nothing particularly unique or captivating that sets this film apart. The drama doesn’t feel all that dramatic, the thrills lack intensity, and the tension falls flat. Action enthusiasts, you’ll be left wanting more.
“Simulant” (2023) might just be the predictable AI-themed movie you were expecting, and then some. While it’s a noble attempt to tackle profound questions, it falls short on multiple fronts. This one gets a solid 2 out of 5 from me, but hey, if you’re intrigued by AI and ethical dilemmas, it might still be worth a watch for you.