Reviews | Written by Andrew Dex 13/01/2021

ARCHIVE

Set in 2038 with its confined, icy Japanese backdrop and an eerie soundtrack to encase it, Archive pitches an emotionally scarred, exhausted scientist named George Almore (Theo James) as he tries to construct a robot with a human element, under harsh expectations from his strict boss. Known for his creative stamp on sci-fi hit Moon, this is the directorial debut from Gavin Rothery.

What George failed to tell his employer is the fact that he is trying to transfer the consciousness of his recently deceased wife, Jules Almore (Stacy Martin) from an Archive-designed coffin machine into his advanced robotic project. As his firm’s security tip-toe closer to this discovery, we live through a time-is-running-out predicament.

At the epicentre of the plot is the relationship flashbacks between George and Jules, which weave fragmented - and at times tragic - memories throughout. The prototype robots that George has built along the way also add vital depth. From the bulky J1, to a moody/questioning J2, and finally to his latest, most human-looking creation J3, this robot evolution are not only his family, but the gravity behind the events of Archive.

The set pieces that have been assembled on top of an otherworldly location are jaw dropping, and as you see some of the prototypes thrown into tricky filming terrain, you realise that a heavy amount of attention to atmosphere and prop design has been grasped. For fans of Ex_Machina and Moon (obviously), this will be a spot-on pick, and when Archive expires with a mind-blowing conversation, it’ll be evident that director Gavin Rothery is more than worth keeping close tabs on.

Release Date: January 18th (Digital)