Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Astro Bot

Now, I have to confess that I never read any of the original manga, so I am evaluating this movie on its own merits.

Basic premise: scientist goes mad and creates a robot boy to replace his son, because his son... actually, the movie skips over that bit. In that we get that the son is dead... maybe. Considering this is based on the world of comics, I think they could have gotten away with the son surviving somewhere to come back later in the movie, but then this isn't that movie. Anyway, robo-son isn't everything daddy wants, so has to find his own way in the world. And get the girl, apparently.

Because if there's one thing we can't have is originality. The son disappoints the father, goes out, finds a place to fit in though he harbours a secret, is found out, becomes wonderful, and gain respect of everyone including the father. Yep, never seen that before...

The big twist this time: robots! Funny robots!! And Astro Boy has machine guns in his butt!!! (That was in the trailer, I didn't spoil anything. Although I do have to wonder about the physics of a robot that can do that, and can jet around without worrying about things like delta-vees and reaction mass and... well, if Iron Man can do it...)

Big names this time include Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Eugene Levy, Samuel L. Jackson and Nicholas Cage. And it is really, really obvious that it is Nicholas Cage. Whenever you hear that voice, you go "oh listen, it's Nicholas Cage!" Have to wonder if it was the best casting.

I'm sure those who know the manga will get more of a kick out of it, otherwise it's another animated movie.


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