Portrayal of Latinas in HIT MAN and ATLAS – Commentary by Jennifer Green

Two new, high-profile releases are offering very different representations of Latinas in roles played by Jennifer Lopez and Adria Arjona. In the sci-fi actioner Atlas, Lopez saves the world, fighting off robots intent on destroying humanity, battling them from inside an AI mech suit and outwitting both them and her male colleagues. She’s buff and smart but also vulnerable, grappling with trust issues left over from childhood trauma. Compare this to Arjona’s role in Hit Man. Arjona plays a woman who considers hiring a hit man to kill her abusive husband, but the hit man is actually an undercover police contractor who convinces her not to. Instead, she leaves her husband and embarks on a steamy affair with the hit man.

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ATLAS – Review by Nadine Whitney

Whatever Jennifer Lopez is doing in Atlas is enough to make you doubt she’s ever been in a movie before. Lopez isn’t given a stellar script to work with but that doesn’t excuse her abominable performance. Simu Liu is easy to believe as an AI synthetic because he has precisely one emotional state. Sterling K. Brown is solid as the heroic ranger who probably should have listened to Atlas, but he isn’t in the film enough to make enough of an impact. The fact that the most relatable character is the AI running the ARC is more than likely deliberate but speaks to how badly written and acted Atlas Shepard is.

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