Director: Casper Christensen, Anthony Hines | Script: Casper Christensen, Anthony Hines | Cast: Jack Whitehall (Charles), Shailene Woodley (Elaine), Paul Jurewicz (Ashley), Paul Rust (Zach), Samantha Ashley (Deputy Chavez), ea | Time to play: 93 minutes | Year:
There’s always been room for improv in comedies, but from the late 1990s on there was really room for it. Especially in Judd Apatow productions, like Anchorman. That worked regularly at the time, but it became increasingly apparent that an actor found himself very funny and could laugh about it on set. Partly because of this, there hasn’t been cool talk about thighs for a long time. robots It may not be a masterpiece, but at least it reuses the resources that can make a movie really fun.
Charles is a slacker who doesn’t want to push himself at work or even seduce women. It’s the year 2045 and robots exist, so he gets one that looks like him to wash his dirty clothes. As soon as her robot hooks up with a new woman, Charles takes her place and sleeps with her. Until Elaine shows up: she charms the robot so that those feelings start to develop. That’s the start of a lot of trouble, both for Charles and Elaine.
robots opens with a speech on the wall between the US and Mexico, which will finally be finished in 2045, immediately showing how today’s robots perform the simple jobs that Americans used to leave to immigrants. This critical note on society and politics never comes back.
This is followed by a very well conceived story, based on a novel, which begins with a “what if” beginning that then goes completely wrong. In a funny way, because this is a comedy. And then also one that you can really laugh out loud. The two directors understand that humor works much better when the actors tell their jokes completely dry. There is only one actor, who plays the character of a colleague of Charles’s, who thinks he is funny and is therefore the weakest of the cast.
It soon becomes clear how this movie will end, but the path to it remains unpredictable. The imagined future of a world with robots is credible, and with it the fact that it is forbidden for a citizen to make a robot that impersonates him/her.
It’s also made immediately clear by Charles, a nasty guy who cheats on women and treats his trusted robot like a piece of trash. Wonderful when he has misery on his roof, but there is still latent potential that this man can improve. Comedian Jack Whitehall played mostly goofy supporting characters, but since he’s gotten a bit older (and grown a beard), he’s been allowed to play the bit more and more.
The spark between him and his co-star Shailene Woodley isn’t particularly bright in the eyes of the camera. robots It is mainly based on humor and amazing plot, the romantic aspect is the least interesting part. robots It’s not futuristic with the robots, although there are plenty of jokes that take advantage of the time in which it’s set; “I kept saying ‘Kanye’. Or should I have said “Vice President West”?
The fun is both in the story and in the dialogues. The plot elements and its course contain plenty of jokes, everything happening in the background, and then there are the occasional comments from Charles and Elaine. Which are especially hilarious, because of how they pronounce their lines calmly and naturally. There are also some hysterical moments, like when robot Elaine tries to have sex with a reluctant Charles, but that, too, is executed so realistically that she effortlessly works those laughing muscles.
It is the predictable and forced conclusion that sets the bar very high robots lowered at the last minute. A movie like this can certainly have a happy ending, but the easier option has been chosen. Jack Whitehall shows with this film that he could be the Hugh Grant of the 20s in terms of his likeable appearance and humor. Whether he wants to or not is another matter.
robots can be seen in first video.