Thursday, June 24, 2010

Astro Boy

Directed by David Bowers.
2009. Rated PG, 94 minutes.
Freddie Highmore
Nicolas Cage
Kristen Bell
Donald Sutherland
Bill Nighy
Samuel L. Jackson
Eugene Levy
Charlize Theron

Plot: After his son is killed during a demonstration gone awry, Dr. Tenma (Cage) builds a robotic version of his tyke outfitted with the latest weaponry and boosters in his boots.

The Good: It manages to be fun without being overly stupid. It doesn’t talk down to its target audience. It also resists the urge to cater to parents and doesn’t purposely put in a bunch of jokes that they know will go over the heads of the kids watching. When we get action, it’s a blast watching Astro Boy zip back and forth across the screen.

The Bad: The go-green subtext is a bit heavy-handed. However, the kids may not pick up on that. What they might notice is that both of our villains are a bit underdeveloped. They’re not as menacing as they could’ve been.

The Ugly: Did they really have to give him "butt guns"?

Recommendation: This is a fun, quick hour and a half. As far as kiddie flicks go, its not in the class of the best animated movies of the last couple years, but it’s successful in its own right. The kids will be thoroughly entertained and adults will probably not be squirming to get out of the room.

The Opposite View: Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle

What the Internet Says: 6.4/10 on (6/23/10), 48% on, 53/100 on

MY SCORE: 6/10

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