Robot Movie Doesn’t Slip A Gear

Main Cast: Ewan McGregor, Halle Berry, Robin Williams, Greg Kinnear

Director: Chris Wedge

This silly but very well-intentioned film is a throwback to all the happy-go-lucky musicals Hollywood dished out in its Golden Age. While there aren’t many musical numbers, the spirit and the feel of those earlier pieces is very strong.

The plot? Well, we have one Rodney Copperbottom (McGregor), a young and enthusiastic inventor who wishes to go to the “big city” and make his mark and win the respect of his idol, Big Weld (Mel Brooks), who both runs the most successful robotic company in the world and cares for all the common folks to boot. Uh- yeah. Too bad that many board members bow down to Phineas T. Ratchet (Kinnear), an appropriately-named, slicked-back-hair (if robots had hair) businessman who wishes to cast off the “feel good” philosophy and shoot profits to the stratosphere. He also plans on sending all “old models” down to his domineering mother, Madam Gasket (voice by the male Jim Broadbent), who runs the furnace and is even more evil than her offspring.

Well, Rodney does run into the “old models”, led by Fender (Williams), a fast-talking con who really does care. He and his cast-off, dented family live below the clean city streets and try to make ends meet (or parts whirl), but ever since the big company stopped selling spare parts their future prospects don’t look good. If only Big Weld was back in charge…

Okay, the plot is rather predictable, and we pretty much know how it will end, so that leaves you to bask in the absolutely stunning visuals. The robots and their cities come to life with eye-popping precision, and if it were possible to have thinking, feeling robots, then these would be the role models. I can absolutely recommend this one for its special effects and pure joy of visuals. Not the plot, but it’s harmless fun for even the kids.

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