Over two decades on the scene, Jennifer Lopez has become recognized as a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ within the entertainment industry.

Amidst an illustrious career in the realms of music, television, and film, the beloved Latin pop icon has proven herself time and time again as one of the most impressive musicians who can act. From dramatic roles such as her star-making turn as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in the 1997 biopic of the late Tejano singer, horror-tinged turns in Anaconda and The Cell, to her string of successful rom-com hits that ruled the 2000s to the 2010s –– it’s evident that Lopez has established herself as a strong selling point for a variety of movie genres in the Hollywood machine.

Courtesy of Netflix Philippines

With Atlas, the film marks the “Queen of Dances”‘s first time leading a science-fiction epic that’s similar to the likes of Pacific Rim, Edge of Tomorrow, and some aspects of James Cameron’s Avatar. And though the film doesn’t necessarily reach the sky-high heights of the aforementioned movies, it’s Lopez’s hold on the film that makes it a whole lot more convincing and entertaining.

The film tells the story of Atlas Shepherd, a data analyst with a deep distrust of artificial intelligence, who searches for AI terrorist Harlan (played by Simu Liu). In her quest to find the fugitive, her brilliance leads her to discover that Harlan has escaped to a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy –– bringing her to a dangerous mission wherein an AI mech suit companion named Smith (Gregory James Cohan) may be her only last hope for survival.

From that premise, it’s easy to tell that the film may not be the most thought-provoking or insightful take on the phenomenon of artificial intelligence, especially with how it found its way into nearly every crevice of our society. The CGI fight sequences may be fun and quite epic at points, but it does little to reinvent the wheel of the sci-fi genre (more likely because it borrows such elements from other trailblazers of the genre).

By the time the movie gets to its final act, everything that has been built up is handled in such a rushed manner –– it leads to an underdeveloped payoff that leaves audiences wanting so much more by the time its credits roll. Leo Sardarian and Aron Eli Coleite’s screenplay teeters on the edge of being formulaic and quite shallow, but it’s thanks to director Brad Peyton and Lopez who elevate the film into an improved version – resulting in an entertaining action flick that’s easy to digest for a universal audience.

jennifer lopez atlas netflix

Courtesy of Netflix Philippines

Lopez, who also serves as a producer on the film, spends most of the time in isolation (aside from her AI companion), which means that most of her scenes were filmed on her own. As she brings her character’s trauma, struggles, and struggles to life, they were mostly filmed within a claustrophobic space that allowed for the musician-actress to put all sorts of emotions on full display. One can imagine how much green screen was used to film such sequences –– requiring Lopez to film most of these without any scene partner.

While most of her audience would primarily be familiar with Lopez’s range as a comedy or drama actress, she makes one hell of an action star who can fit right at home within the sci-fi genre. It’s her performance that anchors the film with an emotional weight that establishes a bond between her character and the viewers, which goes to show that it is not merely her music that resonates with audiences all across the globe. And seeing how Atlas is the top film on Netflix all around the world, it further proves that Lopez has definitely still got that star power she’s always had.

Still, Atlas is by no means a perfect film, nor is it a great one. Yet if you’re looking for an entertaining popcorn flick to watch, it is still very much worth your time and watch to witness just how impressive Jennifer Lopez’s range is as an actress.

Listen to Jennifer Lopez’s 2024 album This Is Me…Now below: