Ron Mita, Jim McClain, David Lindsay-Abaire, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel
Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Mel Brooks, Amanda Bynes, Drew Carey, Jennifer Coolidge, Lowell Ganz, Paul Giamatti, Dan Hedaya, Greg Kinnear, Natsha Lyonne, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Dianne Wiest, Robin Williams
PG (For some brief language and suggestive humor)
In a world of robots, the tinkerer is king. Robots focuses on the life of a young robot who hopes to take his invention to the Bigweld corporation and become one of the company’s dream designers.
Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) has his father’s sense of adventure and grows up with a vision of the future that motivates him to create bigger and better inventions. When he crashes out at his job, he finally decides it’s time to move out and head to the big city where he’ll present his idea to Bigweld Corporation and live the inventor’s life of which he’s always dreamed.
When he arrives in the big city, he soon discovers that Bigweld (Mel Brooks) is no longer at the head of his own company. Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) has taken over and is pushing for cost-saving measures that include the revocation of its parts program that replaced defective parts on older model robots and requires them to purchase new bodies.
Rodney becomes a saint amongst the impoverished robot population who see his ability to mend their broken bodies with scrap parts as a godsend. Ratchet, however, discovers this “treacherous” act and vows to disassemble Rodney to save the company and cement his initiatives in place.
Computer animated features have a trend that becomes easy to spot. The director of the film can often suggest how an individual will enjoy the film. Robots helmer Chris Wedge brought the world Ice Age a few years ago, a film that has just as many pitfalls and lackluster moments as does his new film. The ability to develop multi-dimensional characters falls away as we’re treated to dozens of sight gags.
The team of writers: Ron Mita, Jim McClain, David Lindsay-Abaire, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel seem to believe that a string of haphazardly funny moments is better than a love and understanding of the film’s characters. Robots is even fraught with silly one-liners, plot contrivances and predictable solutions. There’s nothing for mature minds except toilet humor.
The film plays exactly like Ice Age in its inability to deal with more complex social themes like Toy Story 2 did. It’s so reminiscent of the former film that one can’t help but believe that Wedge has more to do with the movie’s failure than the multitude of writers.
With only one scene of roll-on-the-floor laughter and a smattering of moderately humorous incidents, Robots fails to become more than a kid-friendly piece of mindless entertainment that holds no lasting place in memory or film history except as one of the myriad films that took on computer animation for the sake of money.
August 2, 2005