Will the end of the world as we know it include a “Night of the Living Cars”? Netflix’s Leave the World Behind makes the case for it, taking a giant swipe at Elon Musk’s Tesla along the way.
In this slow-burn apocalyptic thriller from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, based on Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel, one of the film’s two core families reaches a moment of decisive panic halfway through the film. What it leads to is a timely commentary on fears around self-driving cars and automation, and what happens when transportation gets hijacked…
Where have we seen this before?
Beyond the Batmobile, Herbie, K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider, and the Transformers team, the thrills and perils of the self-driving car are nothing new for most movie-goers. It’s an especially popular plot device in sci-fi and action films, from the Johnny Cab in Total Recall to the self-driving car crash that defines Upload, as well as Tony Stark’s autonomous Audi in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Benji’s self-driving BMW iX in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.