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Even in a world populated entirely by mechanical beings Rodney Copperbottom is considered a genius inventor. Rodney dreams of two things, making the world a better place and meeting his idol, the master inventor Bigweld. On his journey he encounters Cappy, a beautiful executive 'bot with whom Rodney is instantly smitten, the nefarious corporate tyrant Ratchet who locks horns with Rodney, and a group of misfit 'bots known as the Rusties, led by Fender and Piper Pinwheeler. Written by
The filmmakers wanted the music score to sound like it was recorded by the "Robot Philharmonic". To that effect, they hired performance artists Blue Man Group, known for performing on musical instruments made from industrial piping and other found objects, to do special percussion effects. See more »
After surfing the waves of dominoes, Bigweld flies up into the air, and then lands. When he flies up, you can see dominoes fly up with him. But when he lands, no dominoes fall down after him. See more »
I left this film feeling high. Not because I literally ingested anything before arriving at the theatre, but because the movie provided that familiar feeling of one's brain being reduced to a muddled receptor for bright colors and funny noises.
So about the story: boy robot leaves his home for the big-city, must defeat evil robot trying to control the robot world. During this epic quest he encounters a series of Disney-ish archetypes, including: wacky robot sidekick (voiced by Robin Williams, natch), bland robot love interest (Halle Berry, spending all of maybe three hours in the recording studio), and a spunky tomboy robot (voiced by some unmemorable tween star).
The storyline, such as it is, could probably fill a single half-hour slot on Nickelodeon. There are a few funny bits of dialogue (provided by off-Broadway scribe David Lindsay Abaire), but mostly the script is just the filler before the next elaborate visual sequence dreamed up by the animators.
And don't get me wrong: those visual sequences are pretty cool. I can't quite decide which is more impressive: the hyperkinetic ride through the immaculately detailed robot city or a complicated sequence involving thousands of dominoes. The art department clearly put a mind-boggling amount of effort into creating a fully realized world.
But that, unfortunately, is all there is. An awesomely rendered environment with nothing in the foreground. Many of the characters, particularly the protagonist, feel like little more than rough outlines. The relationships between characters feel like tacked-on afterthoughts. This is compounded by the most lackluster and non-distinctive voice work I've ever heard from major movie stars (Ewan McGregor and Halle Berry sound so bored, I would have preferred they hire interns from the accounting department).
I recommend this film slightly, simply because of the stunning visuals. But otherwise, with the success of truly subversive CGI films like The Incredibles and Shrek, Robots just doesn't cut it.
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