Critical Consensus: ?Robots? to the Rescue
Opening ultra-wide this weekend in 3776 theaters, ?Robots? features an outstanding ensemble of voice talent headlined by Ewan McGregor, Robin Williams, and Halle Berry. Others lending their voice to characters in the film are Mel Brooks, Drew Carey, Amanda Bynes, Jamie Kennedy, and critically acclaimed actors Paul Giamatti, Diane Wiest, and Jim Broadbent. Director Chris Wedge actually worked on ?Robots? before he was sidetracked to direct ?Ice Age.? When that film became a smash hit and grossed $176M domestically, he and his creative team went back to work on ?Robots.? With such a wide release and years in the making, it?s good to see that critics are responding well to it. At the time of this writing, ?Robots? has a well-oiled 68% on the Tomatometer. Despite an all-too-familiar storyline, critics give high praise to the ?dazzling? mechanical landscapes, ?spectacular? production design, and ?smart, snappy? dialogue. In comparison, ?Ice Age? measured a sizzling 77% on the Tomatometer.
With his recent foray into comedies (?The Whole Nine Yards,? ?The Kid?), supernatural thrillers (?Unbreakable,? ?The Sixth Sense?), and war films (?Tears of the Sun,? ?Hart?s War?), Bruce Willis finally returns to the big screen this week with a film in the genre that made him famous ? the action thriller. With his recent string of disappointments at the box office (?Tears of the Sun,? ?Hart?s War,? ?Bandits?), it appears that Miramax is playing it safe with ?Hostage,? opening it in just 2,123 theaters. Their cautiousness will probably come in handy, as critics feel ?abused? by the film?s illogical and improbable plotting, ?siege? clichés, and sadistic action sequences. Presently, the film is scoring an offending 33% on the Tomatometer ? the worst reviewed of this weekend?s new wide releases.
We don?t have reviews for the tamer, re-cut version of ?The Passion of the Christ,? which is launching in 954 theaters, but critics were mixed on the original release. They thought the gory details of Jesus' torture made the original movie tough to sit through and obscured whatever message it was trying to convey. It scored 51% on the Tomatometer. It will be interesting to see how critics review the newer and tamer version, since the graphic torture scenes were the main complaint of the original release. ?The Passion of the Christ? grossed $370M domestically.
It?s been awhile since we had a fresh movie, so trust the tomato and go out and watch ?Robots.? And if you don?t mind being abused by a mindless actioner, check out the new Bruce Willis film ?Hostage.?