Robots- ROBIN WHYYYYYYYY?!
So, Robots. This movie is an...interesting case. I mean, it's not good, but...Well...Let's see. So this is a movie about, well, robots and...Goddamn it it's bad. Like, it's...not good. So this is another one of those movies that seems to rely on pop culture references for its humor. Yeah, off to a great start. They're not even well-executed, it's just slam-bam thank you media and off to Grandmother's house we go. So, against my better judgement, let's have a look-see. Let's start with the good points. If you've read the tv tropes page, you already know the plot, and I have to say, this was a good idea. It just feels like an idea better suited for a more adult movie, where it could be played out more, and we could be shown a deep exploration of falling from fame and the value of hum-er, robot life. It's also certainly a movie that LOOKS nice, I'll give it that- the CGI is used really well in my opinion. But... Then we have the other parts of it. First, there's the aforementioned pop culture references, which feel really forced and awkward. There's one scene where Robin Williams' character needs to clear out a bunch of robots around him, which he does by DOING A BRITNEY SPEARS PERFORMANCE IN A COMPLETELY OUT OF PLACE REFERENCE. This is unseemly. Which reminds me: ROBIN WILLIAMS IN THIS MOOOOOVIEEEEEEEEEE Eeeeeeeeohgooooooooodddddd..... WHAT HAPPENED?! He's a good comedian, he's a good actor, WHY'S HE IN IT?! Ok... I've calmed down. Overall, the jokes fall flat, the casting is eh... and...JESUS THIS IS BAD! DON'T SEE IT! ...That's all.
The premise for Robots sounds more like a dystopian nightmare than a premise for a family comedy. The central concept is predicated on, at best, an outstanding health care failure and at worst state-sponsored euthanasia. The main locale is lorded over by a massive corporation with power over life and death, who target our protagonist, the city's only doctor, when he starts saving the sick people the aforementioned corporation would far prefer either keel over or get slaughtered. That the characters are machines is supposed to mitigate the awfulness of all this, but seeing as they're indistinguishable from (and actively standing in for) mankind it doesn't quite come off. It's hard not to wonder why anyone thought this was a good idea for a comedy—or, rather, a comedy as lighthearted and screwball as this one. The concept might work as a Black Comedy, but instead the movie goes for easy material—pop-culture gags, fart jokes, accents. I'd call it tonal dissonance if the film ever treated its plot with the weight the material seems to require, but no one seems especially concerned about the life and death situation they're in. Part of this is probably down to the fact that the only characters that are ever really in mortal peril are voiced by Robin Williams and Mel Brooks, who are very very good at things that are not this. The plot doesn't quite hold together either—often, things just seem to kind of happen. Characters' motivations and moods turn like mad, turning towards and away from the cause of saving the outmodes seemingly on a whim just so that the film can briefly attempt drama. None of those moments feel earned, because they're so few and far between that the parts that contain them and the comedic scenes seem to be at a complete disconnect. Moreover, they're hokey and cliché—the fate of an entire city crests on whether our bland protagonist follows his dreams. Said dreams are conveniently reduced to catchphrases, and largely concern transcending class roots and helping people. (The class-warfare aspect of the film is yet another great concept woefully underplayed.) It seems like a wasted opertunity, really, because the design of the film is wonderful and the concept is, in theory, workable. Unfortunately, no matter what the film might think, one good idea doesn't always mean the end product will hold together.
Creative and fun
This is Blue Sky's most underrated film, and also their most creative. This world is wonderfully animated, and written, and there are tons of greast gags to come with this amazing world. plus, the story does cliches right, and rodney is a likable hero, and there are good turns here and there. Granted, the fart joke is lame, and at times Robin williams is a bit annoying, but he can be funny as well. But they make up for that with how creative the world is, and how the villains plan takes advantage of it. so overall, it's a lot of fun, even if the comedy is hit or miss. I give it a B+'
I remember this film from when I was a little girl. Though it isn't the best, it certainly isn't all bad. Robin Williams completely steals the movie as the character Fender. Everything that Fender did had me laughing like a maniac and still does on subsequent rewatches. The other characters were great too and the CGI was beautiful to look at. The plot was decent for animated fare and presented good messages while being a fun treat for older audience members as well with lots of jokes and such. The rest of the actors involved did a wonderful job as well. I would say this is an underrated gem of a film, good for a lazy afternoon but perhaps not for a day at the movie theater.