Sunday, 1 May 2011

Robots

Lowdown: In a world made entirely of robots, a socialist robot saves the world’s poor from a greedy corporation.
Review:
One of the bad things about Hollywood is that once a new successful formula is identified it is copied to its death. Pixar showed us that computer graphics can generate good films and tons of money, so everyone jumps on the bandwagon. The result? Mediocrity, in the shape of 2005’s Robots.
Not even famous voices can save this one. The starting point is not too bad: our world is one of robots, where everything from pet to human is robot. Our hero is a young idealistic robot made of spare parts to loving but poor robot parents. He compensates for his circumstances by being inventive, and eventually he embarks to the big city in order to achieve his dream and work at this big time robot company that does all the good in this world of robots. Or does it? We quickly learn the original owner is out and the company is now controlled by a greedy robot and his mom, who plot to make money by holding off the production of spare parts. Who cares if many robots will meet their doom as a result? Well, our hero does.
The problem with Robots is that it is so “to the formula” the whole thing falls flat. Even the more imaginative implementation of a robot world or the anti extreme consumerism messages fail. Sure, the three year old of the house enjoyed Robots (that’s good, given we got the film for him in the first place); but to the adults of the house there was nothing new under the sun to cling to.
Worst scenes: Robin Williams may have done Aladdin a whole lot of good, but the overuse of his talents on computer animation flicks since certainly shows signs of sacrificing quality for quantity. He didn’t make me laugh, not even once. Neither, by the way, did the character bearing Mel Brooks’ voice make me raise a smile.
Technical assessment: Don’t ask me why, but the non Pixar computer animation films don’t look half as flashy as the Pixar ones.
Overall: For the kids only, 2 out of 5 stars.

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