Running Time: 1 hr. 34 min.
Release Date: October 23rd, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for some action and peril, and brief mild language.
Distributors: Summit Entertainment, LLC
Directed by: David Bowers
JJ Rating: B+
Lost a son? Why not create a duplicate that’s a robot with his memories and see what happens. Astro Boy.
Oh no it’s another remake of an old cartoon. What will happen when those who love the old cartoon see this one? Will they make the cliché arguments that those who created the film have no clue what the hell they are doing because they are ruining their beloved character? Why yes, that is what they have done. Wow, that was totally unexpected was it not?
The problem isn’t that people have a problem with remakes or updates or whatever. It’s that they don’t bother to see it before they voice their very unnecessary opinions. “If you are a real fan you wouldn’t like this film.” What? I know what it feels like to see a film that is adapted from a book or a comic and it not be similar enough. Trust me. I saw Jurassic Park and X-Men, I understand. With both I allowed a few leeway moments so that I didn’t get all worked up over everything. They changed Jurassic Park enough that I started to think it was just a different movie that used the same title as the book. As for X-Men they only pissed me off with missing Storm’s claustrophobia and making Cyclops so whinny. Massive character development problems in leaving out what makes the X-Men X-Men and that is the team effort. Wolverine isn’t a leader, isn’t that important and never should be. Even though I had complaints I still liked both and yes even the III one.
One of the problems people have with Astro Boy is that he’s not shirtless like the original. Some things have to be changed for the times. X-Men was different because they changed the costumes. Colored spandex sure would have looked funny. That change to black was pretty smart move and it mad the film less campy for doing so. Changing the shirtless aspect was smart move because I think he looked more like a boy with clothes that would be associated with being a boy instead of running around shirtless in a world where perverts are ready to take anything out of context. But clothes never really mattered much to me, so what do I know? I’m more interested in the story.
I think that Astro Boy reminded me a lot of Pinocchio, except that he does NOT become a real boy at the end. He’s just a robo-boy. It also reminded me a lot of A.I. as well. He had a lot of simple-ness to him. He simply wanted a few things that we all take for granted. I think that Freddie Highmore did a great job. His voice was acting so much that I forgot I was watching a character. Silly as it sounds Astro Boy (or Toby) was more alive because of the way Highmore voiced him.
Innocent characters have a way of making me wish I could be so naïve of the bad things that people think and do and devoid of sarcasm and judgmental attitude that I can have sometimes. I was jealous of his Superman/Clark Kent like persona. He just wanted to do good for anyone he deemed worthy, but most of all he wanted to do that for his dad.
Yes the story was simple. A boy dies and then he lives again as a robot but his father doesn’t want him. It’s slightly heart breaking. I believed it worked and it was fun and silly. The line when he says, “I have machine guns…in my butt?” was so awesome because of the way he said it as well as that dramatic pause. It was perfect and by far my favorite line in the trailer. When I heard I saw it in the film it still made me laugh.
Astro Boy is a fun movie that has light spirits and pleasant delivery with a character that is charming, simple and endearing. It put me in a good mood and I wouldn’t mind having the DVD so that it could do it again. Astro Boy’s child like wonder was oddly enriching, enchanting and past childhood inviting. Those were the days…