Directed by Chris Wedge
Starring Robin Williams
Reviewed by Byron Merritt
FILM REVIEW RATING: JUST ABOUT AVERAGE...
And you thought raising a human child was tough! If you live in the world of ROBOTS, you literally have to "make" a child (building it from a box of parts). When the Copperbottoms find out they’re going to be parents, they are so excited that the father runs through the street stuffing cigars into robots’ mouths. Once home, and peering into the box of parts, he realizes the task ahead of him: assembling a son. Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) is born. We whisk through his childhood and into his teens where we discover his true calling: to become an inventor.
Following his dreams, he travels to Robot City to meet his mentor, Mr Bigweld (Mel Brooks), an inventor of all things Robot-like. But upon entering the city and coming to the gates of Mr. Bigweld’s offices (ala the gates of Oz), Rodney finds that Mr. Bigweld is nowhere to be found and the company has been taken over by the corrupt Ratchet (Greg Kinnear). Secondhand parts are a thing of the past and Ratchet orders all faulty parts melted down. Every Robot must now purchase upgrades. Can’t afford them? Sorry, you’ll have to be scrapped.
Along with a bum-like robot called Fender (Robin Williams ....think THE FISHER KING) and several hundred of his obsolete buddies, Rodney is headed toward trouble ...and maybe success.
Coming off the heals of such phenomenal animated features as SHREK, FINDING NEMO, and ICE AGE, this film falls short but delivers on laughs and fun thanks to the energetic voice of Robin Williams; without him I fear this movie would’ve flopped entirely. But his action-packed antics made it completely watchable.
There have been comments about how slow ROBOTS was to get going, and this is undeniably so. But it was a fairly decent attempt at character and plot set-up. And although ROBOTS lacked anything new in the form of animation or concept, it did entertain enough to make me finish watching and even emitted a guffaw or two.
But is it on the same level as those earlier animated super-films? No way. Not even close.
Click here to see the Robots movie trailer!