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Movie Review: Robots

Friday, April 01, 2005

Watched this animated movie during my movie marathon and since this isn't from Pixar, I am not expecting much from this movie. The story follows the fortunes and misfortunes of Rodney Copperbottom voiced by Ewan McGregor as he moves to Robot City and does his best to become an inventor for Bigweld (Mel Brooks) Industries. What he discovers when he arrives is that Bigweld is old news in his own company and he's been taken over by the evil Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) who has designs on stopping the supply of replacement parts and condemning poor robots to a painful death because they can't afford upgrades. As usual, here's my review on the first animated movie of 2005.

The movie starts with the birth of Rodney... literally. We see Mr and Mrs Copperbottom put their baby together with spare parts and DIY instruction manual. The writers were quite creative giving an insight on how robots 'reproduce'. Throwing in some baby-making jokes, the whole scene was very well done and gives the audience of what's to come. Following that, we watch Rodney grow up with training wheels, replacement parts second-hand from his cousins and his passion and interest for invention.

The plot for this movie is a fairly simple, follow your dreams and don't give up. :P Along the journey, Rodney faces some obstacles but with the help of his group of friends, he overcomes them with his determination to succeed. Thus, nothing extraordinary really and pretty predictable as well. I guess what makes this plot interesting is the humour thrown along the way and the beautiful rendered animation that keeps the audience captivated.

Speaking of animation, the CGI is beautiful! There's been so much care and attention put into creating the robot world. You can actually see each springs, rust, nuts, bolts... everything! You can also feel the life in Robot City. Not only that, I noticed that each robot is rendered unique with it's own creative function. Maybe too much attention has been given, but I am not complaining. One particular scene that I really enjoy is where Rodney and pal Fender (a slightly-underused Robin Williams) are catapulted through the city in a series of wildly imaginative twirls and roller-coaster styled ride. This is suppose to be the mode of transport in Robot City. Scary! Another memorable scene an almost-spectacular segment where a roomful of colapsing dominos. Stand back to watch the result. Seems like everytime a new CGI movie comes out, it gets better and better... visually.

I am actually quite disappointed with the voice cast, imagine they have Halle Berry, Robin Williams, Mel Brooks, Greg Kinnear, Drew Carey, Jennifer Coolidge, Amanda Bynes, Stanley Tucci, Harland Williams, Dianne Wiest, Carson Daly, Conan O'Brien - ouch. IMHO, they did a good job but at the end of it all, it's just... forgettable (I sound like Simon Cowell). I reckon the only one that stands out the most is Robin William's Fender, but like I mentioned earlier, they could've done much more with his talent.

Robots is an enjoyable movie worth taking your family to. It's creative, funny, and the CGI is captivating. Eventough I had a few good laughs, the story is the only thing holding the movie back from greatness. Overall, an above average movie and it's worth the watch if you are a CGI buff or looking for creative laughs.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3 [Forgettable Voice acting]
Sound : 4
Picture : 4.5
Storyline: 2.8

OVERALL : 3.8
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:08 pm

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