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Very Sappy and Horrendous Acting
Wow, just wow.
Let me just start off by stating that I mistakenly rented this not knowing that I was going to be bashed over the head with religious messages. Add to the fact, that the director should be totally ashamed of himself for blatantly stereotyping Latin Americans. After all, we all know that Mexicans are the only poor people in this country that work construction jobs, right? I stopped watching after the daughter was killed by the drunk driver because I just could not digest one more minute of this drivel.
Save your money on this one.
Astro Boy (2009)
Astro Boy Never Really Takes Off ***Spoiler Alert***
The animated Astro Boy is a shiny hodgepodge of Pinocchio, Star Wars (see the Stormtrooper-like characters protecting the President), WALL-E, Oliver Twist, Gladiator and Superman, with some obvious visual touches taken from The Iron Giant. As its own entity, though, it's pretty forgettable. It almost feels like there are too many movies competing simultaneously in what is essentially a pretty standard tale of good versus evil.
The jokes aren't all that funny and the father-son relationship between Astro Boy (Highmore) and brilliant scientist Dr. Tenma isn't all that moving. There's a lot going on, maybe too much going on, but none of it ever really grabs you. On a positive note along those same innocuous lines, the movie is sufficiently bright and colorful for kids of all ages without ever being too scary.
Once Dr. Tenma realizes that this robot version of his child is nonetheless inferior and sends him away, Toby flees the floating, gleaming Metro City and lands back on the Earth below which is now a trash dump where he becomes known as Astro Boy. There, he meets other orphaned children who grubbily root around for spare robot parts to bring back to their Fagin-like father figure, Hamegg (Lane). The trash can that follows them around and looks like a pug is surprisingly enough named Trashcan, how original.
Astro wants to fit in with the others, namely the street-smart Cora (Bell), and forge some sort of normal life. But high among the clouds in Metro City, President Stone (Donald Sutherland) is after him for his Blue Core, a powerful crystalline nugget that Dr. Tenma implanted in his chest. You see, there's a Blue Core and a Red Core. The blue one provides a peaceful, benevolent strength, while the red one turns you into a ferocious killing machine. The Donald Rumsfeld-like president wants to control them both for his ironically named "Peacekeeper," a burly device intended to dominate Earth: "I've got an election to win and I need my robot to be a fighter, not a lover," he says early on. Ultimately, it was never explained why the Peacekeeping evil robot was needed in the first place.
And so the obvious inevitably arrives: Astro Boy must return to his home to fight the ultimate fight and face his ultimate destiny. Snooze. He also might run into his dad again. You never know.