Monday, October 26, 2009

My Name Name is Astro

Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.

Astro Boy has been around for many many years. Its had a few reboots, cartoons, toys, collectables, comics, its still to this day huge in Japan and to alot of people in the US. When they announced they were making a kids movie (essentially) based on the beloved character a lot of people were skeptical. It was too colorful, it took too many liberties with the story and to alot of people killed Astro Boy. Now I was never a huge fan of the original series or any of its reboots, and to this day most Japanese cartoon remakes kind of suck (Speed Racer anyone?) but this one wasnt THAT bad. I mean its by no means a great film or even that much of a good film but for kids it will be great.

Astro Boy takes place in Metro City (not in the show...oh boy i smell "loosely based") and is about Toby (played by Freddy Highmore of Charlie and the chocolate factory fame) and his dad the famous robot scientist Dr. Tenma (Nick Cage...actually decent). One day Dr. Elefun (Bill Nighy AWESOME) invents a pure energy source and the president (Donald Sutherland WOW) wants to use it for his new military weapon the "Peacekeeper" so he could use it as a political advantage for the upcoming election (subtle guys. War references? This is a kids movie). When Toby is killed in an accident, Tenma makes a robot that looks, talks, and has all the memories of Toby. And thats where Astro comes into play.

Its a bright and colorful film that kids will eat up. Other actors like Samuel L Jackson, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Charlize Theron and Kristen Bell fill out the rest of the roster. To any film buff this is like a dream list and besides the kid friendly puns and jokes the whole cast is great.

Where this film fails is the plot. Characters seem odd and oddly motivated. There are plot holes big enough to drive trucks through it, continuity is off, and overall the plot is weak and full of political overtones. Maybe if more attention had been paid to the writing instead of the star power and look this film could have been great.

As it stands its a decent kids movie that does NO justice to the original cartoon. If you are a diehard fan disregard my score. But if you want to see a well acted but badly written kids movie with flashy colors and lots of action than please see this.


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