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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Robots - Unplugging a Digital Dud

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Released 05-19-2023

Watched 07-24-2023

Reviewed 08-18-2023

Watched on Amazon Prime Video

"Who says that when a womanizer and a gold digger get together, things don't turn out well for either of them?"

There's a special kind of agony that's reserved for films that promise an intriguing concept but ultimately fall flat on their faces. "Robots" perfectly exemplifies this. The notion of having two of society's arguably most self-centered personas chasing their robotic doppelgängers offers ripe material for satire or deep introspection. Yet, all that potential goes entirely to waste.

Shailene Woodley and Jack Whitehall, usually reputable actors, seem to have been plucked from their comfort zones and tossed into a blender of weak scriptwriting and flat direction. The chemistry between the leads is virtually non-existent, making their begrudging partnership as much a test for the audience as it is for the characters themselves. Paul Rust, while always a treat to watch, is woefully underutilized, relegated to mere background noise.

One might wonder, with a budget of $15 million, where all that money went? Certainly not towards any compelling CGI or special effects, given that the robot counterparts - the supposed fulcrum of the entire movie - are not really presented as robots at all (Just the actors saying we are now robots of ourselves). Neither did it appear to go towards scouting unique locations or creating gripping action sequences.

The box office reflects the audience's sentiments – a meager $203,871. And honestly, that's more than this film deserved. Instead of a nuanced commentary on humanity and identity, we're treated to cliched slapstick comedy and shallow character arcs.

In an era where storytelling has evolved leaps and bounds, "Robots" serves as a reminder that not all that glitters is gold. Or, in this case, not all big-budget films are worth the silver screen. Do yourself a favor and save those two hours of your life.

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