I am not in love with robots. But Hollywood certainly is. The year is more than halfway done and there have been a lot of them. I haven’t seen so many robots since Robots (2005).
It’s interesting though how different they all are, in shape and disposition. I can go all metaphorical here and explain how artificial humans are like a mirror for humanity and can represent doom or redemption like angels or demons and anything in between for us to project our human wishes and hopes on. But screw all that pompous shit. Let’s talk about robots!
The baddest robots this year are also the boringest ones if you ask me. There was Ultron and I thought his personality was a bit strange. He made a lot of jokes and that looked a bit weird on a robot with shoulders as broad as The Rock’s. His entrance into the Avengers movie was magnificent, as a broken Iron Man suit that stumbled into a party, one of the best scenes of that movie if you ask me. I guess The Vision was a robot too but it was a bit unclear. He was cool and I hope he returns. But Ultron didn’t really made an impression on me. Both his character and motivation was a bit off and his actions didn’t make a lot of sense to me. His “age” ended quickly. But it made a lot more sense than the new Terminator movie.
The John Connor robot was made of mechanized cells, a sort of nanobot robot. I guess The Vision was like that as well. I always wonder why robots made out of nanobots or molten steel or whatever always choose a human shape for running and fighting. Humans are optimized for walking the savannah with a spear. The robots from Edge of Tomorrow were much more effective at killing humans because they had a different shape but that movie was from 2014 and doesn’t count.
There are two female robots this year and both times they are the object of someone’s crush. How about a female robot that isn’t pretty or someone’s love interest? In Ex Machina, Ava was designed as a pretty lady and the romantic element was part of the plot. In Tomorrowland, it is all a bit weirder. Athena is a twelve-year-old girl and a boy of similar age falls for her. The boy grows up into a grey-haired George Clooney while Athena stays the same, but 4 decades later Clooney is still bitter about that lost love. You’d think that he would have gotten over that by now and found someone else. There is also a difference in that Ava was quiet and subdued while Athena was running and punching and being an active little kid robot.
Chappie is the one that least looks like a human. It looks more like a rabbit with its ears sticking up like that. Funnily enough, the robot that Hugh Jackman unleashes in the end to stop Chappie looks like a kangaroo with those jumping legs. It must have been Jackman’s Australian background that influenced the rodent/marsupial-like designs. Also rather unhuman-like is Baymax from Big Hero 6. I include it because where I live it was released late in 2015 but later I discovered that it was from 2014 in the US. Its design is perhaps the most original from this list, since it is an inflatable robot. A similarity between Chappie and Baymax is that in both movies we see a scientist trying to get it working. Wasn’t it the 99th try or the 99th day that did the trick in both cases?
Iron Man, is not really a robot but a robot suit. But the man himself can step out of it and then order the suit to do things, so then the robot suit becomes a proper robot. And if we’re mentioning robot suits, then I should also mention the Gorg commander from the animation Home (2015). When that suit opens up, that is actually the best scene from that entire cringe-inducing movie. Finally, the arcade machine robot from Kung Fury. Now that was a robot with personality.
How about the future? Are there more robots coming up in 2015? There’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens to look forward to. Please tell me if anything else come to mind because I can’t think of anything. Have I forgotten any? Thankfully we are spared another Transformers movie. For now…