Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Slightly Overanalytical Look At Robots

Now as you already know, I'm a father. If I've learned one thing from my 2.5 years as being a father, it's that children like repetition, especially younger ones. At one point, my son wanted to watch nothing but the Jurassic Park films, which lead to my blog about the third one. His interests has since diversified, which I'm not complaining, seeing as children need diversity as they do repetition. However, lately he's been really taking a liking to the movie Robots. Like, watching it three times in a day liking.

Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) and Fender (Robin Williams) in disguise

Again, I'm not complaining, because Robots is a pretty good movie and I had honestly never seen it until Scholar showed it to our son. If I were to do a Stash Or Trash on Robots, it'd be a Stash, no question. However, when you watch the same movie over and over to the point where your toddler can quote the film word for word, you can't help but notice things that you didn't the first couple times or start to think a little deeper into some of the plot details encased within said film. Example:

The Chop Shop

I'm honestly willing to chalk this up to a goof on the writer's part. At one point in the movie, everyone has to hide in the alleys from a Sweeper and when Rodney asks why, Piper (Amanda Bynes) and Crank (Drew Carey) explains that Sweepers will sweep up any Outmodes (robots with discontinued parts) and take them down to The Chop Shop, where they are melted down and turned into something else. Horrifying, yes, but what I want to know is when later on in the film when Fender is caught by a Sweeper but manages to escape from the Chop Shop, he's freaking out and explaining to the rest of the characters that Sweepers are taking Outmodes to The Chop Shop, why are the rest of the characters so shocked by this revelation that they already knew? I think someone forgot to proofread this part of the script.

Just How Long Has Bigweld Been Missing?

The main plot of Robots is that Rodney moves from Rivet Town to Robot City so that he can meet his childhood idol, Mr. Bigweld (Mel Brooks), and get a job to help pay back his dad's boss. Upon arriving at Bigweld Industries, he's informed by Tim The Gateman (Paul Giamatti) that nobody gets in anymore because Bigweld is no longer in charge, giving him the advice that Rodney should come back two years ago to get the job. Okay, let's focus on that statement. So this gives the implication that things changed two years prior to Rodney's arrival, so does that mean that Bigweld's disappearance was two years ago? If so, why is Ratchet (Greg Kinnear) carrying himself like he was just appointed head of Bigweld Industries and doesn't want to hear another "Where's Bigweld?" Have people been asking him this for two years now? Then there's the bit with the Bigweld Ball, a huge ceremony that Bigweld attends every year and one of the board members says that they'll see Bigweld there. Why would Bigweld disappear for enough time to have him be declared legally dead and then randomly show up at some company ball? Aunt Fanny (Jennifer Coolidge) says, "You can't have a Bigweld Ball without Bigweld!" The Bigweld Ball seems like an annual event to me, so you mean to tell me that there hasn't been a Bigweld Ball in two years and nobody has gotten suspicious of this? Nobody? The face of Robot City just up and vanishes and no one lifts a finger about until some outsider shows up?

Gasket & Ratchet Are Total Nazis

Ratchet might be the acting head of Bigweld Industries, but he's nothing more than a puppet-on-a-string-mama's-boy, because Madamme Gasket (Jim Broadbent) is the brains behind the operation. The movie starts off like its going to be your simple "small town boy making a name for himself in the big city" story, but when Ratchet shows up, it takes on this class favoritism angle. That's pretty messed up, but then when Ratchet discontinues spare parts (on his mommy's order), he gloats to Madamme Gasket that in a couple weeks they'll be up to their elbows in broken/dead Outmodes, which brings in this even MORE messed up mass genocide angle to the story. There's one scene where the gang is trying for find a neck joint for Fender and the owner of the shop is showing off the upgrades that Ratchet is pushing. The only difference between the upgrades are the size and gender. Other than that, they all look the same. So there's two Robots corrupted by power that are trying to create their image of a perfect world and are not afraid to slaughter masses in order to achieve said goal.

Sound familiar?

Somebody call the Inglourious Basterds, because there's some Gnatzies that need a scalpin'. When I stop and think about what I've mentioned in the last few points, I have come to one final conclusion...

Robot City Would Be One Of The Worst Places To Live Ever

Sweepers are snatching up Outmodes, never to be heard from again. The world's greatest robot, Mr. Bigweld, has vanished. Citizens are preying off each other for spare parts. WHERE IN THE HELL IS THE POLICE IN ALL THIS?! How many Outmodes have been taken by the Sweepers? Where are the missing robots posters? Why has no investigation been put into any of this? Has Ratchet been paying off the police or killing any policemen trying to find out what happened to Bigweld and other Outmodes? The citizens of Robot City in the end are forced to take matters into their own hands because there is no sort of authority present in the city. The only robots wielding badges are the security guards at Bigweld Industries, so naturally they'll side with whomever is paying them.
And let's talk about that public transportation system. Whoever designed that thing was either a certified genius or an authentic whacko. Any time you took this thing would be a near-death experience. Seriously, watch it.

If those setups are off by just a fraction, you're dead. And when Fender says, "There goes my stop," HOW WAS HE SUPPOSED TO GET OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AIR?!

Like most aimed at kids films, Robots is one of those movies that if you think too much into it, it'll weird you out, so it's really best to just take it at face value. If anyone reading still hasn't seen it, I'd honestly recommend it. Just, don't say I didn't warn you about some of the stuff in the movie.

-The Cynic

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