This film is what good science fiction should be--an exploration of the possibilities (and pitfalls) of technology. Anyone anticipating "The Singularity" ought to see this film, whether you're looking forward to welcoming our new robotic overlords, or dreading it.
I am not going to give a detailed synopsis of this film, because that would deprive you of the enjoyment of all the subtle twists and turns of the rather cerebral plot. If you can get past the painfully hokey introduction, the rest of the film is worth the price of admission.
After an opening montage of the obligatory nuclear holocaust, a voice-over narration informs us that 92% of Mankind was wiped out in a 48-hour atomic war. In order to compensate for its weakened state--including declining fertility due to the radiation--humans have worked at perfecting robots to take over the majority of the labor. Unfortunately, they went a bit too far-- believing that people didn't feel comfortable working with boxy machine-like robots, the engineers crossed over into Uncanny Valley and designed the R-20 series, which were more man-like in appearance; the "humanoids" of the title.
These humanoids are stiff, bald, blue, emotionless, and have the weirdest metallic eyes any actor has ever been asked to wear in a film. They are also scorned by many humans, especially the "Order of Flesh and Blood," an influential and quasi-racist group bent on having the humanoids disassembled and banned. The Order seems to be above the law, able to threaten the official police into looking the other way, and are not beyond using terroristic tactics to accomplish their ends. The robots just seem to want to be allowed to go peacefully about their business, which includes recharging in a building they call their "temple," where the main computer--or "Father-Mother"--updates their brains with all the information gathered by all the other robots. The robots have an ineffably sinister quality about them, without ever being overtly threatening. It's probably their emotionlessness, and the subtle smirks they all seem to be wearing. And they seem rather smug about the fact that their "people" outnumber the humans.
At this point, the film starts to look like it's going to be one of those science-fiction morality tales about racism, especially since the uniforms of the Order include Civil War style kepi forage hats, and they refer to the humanoids by the derogatory term "clickers" which doesn't take much imagination to make sound like another derogatory term that begins with the letter N. The similarity continues when the humanoids are treated like slaves, being bought and sold like the machinery they are. When the sister of one of the Order of Flesh and Blood's captains turns out to have entered into a "rapport" with a humanoid she's named Pax, the spectre of miscegenation raises its head.
It gets even weirder, because this woman claims to be "in love" with her literal boy-toy, because he can anticipate her every need. She even paid extra to have him programmed with a sense of humor, and she pretty much tells her outraged brother where he can get off, in a bit of nose-elevated over-acting that she must have learned from watching too many Norma Desmond flicks. I mean, hell, her bald manservant's even called "Pax," right? (Or am I the only one who remembers the "Sunset Boulevard?") Meanwhile, her brother misses no opportunity to insult Pax, who, while acting perfectly logically and with equanimity, still manages to slip a few zingers at him under the brother's radar.
I found the sister's reasons for preferring her robot to her drunken lout of an ex-husband to be more selfish than open-minded--isn't having a partner who anticipates and gratifies one's every need the fetish of the guys who are trying to invent the "sexbot?" Making the robosexual a woman doesn't make it any less creepy.
Her brother, who calls himself "The Cragis," as if he were the chieftan of a clan, has a lot of conflicting stuff going on in his head. At first he seems like little more than an arrogant, racist thug drunk with his own dangerous power over lesser beings. He despises the humanoids because he feels they're threatening to overthrow humanity and usurp the world. Later on, he does admit that not *all* robots are bad...only the humanoid ones. Robots, he says, should look like machines.
Then he meets a young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Hillary Clinton, who puts him in his place when he tries to pull his "show me your ID" crap on