Retro Review: Bicentennial Man

One robot’s 200 year journey to become an ordinary man.

An android (Robin Williams) is purchased as a household robot programmed to perform menial tasks.

Within a few days the Martin family realizes that they don’t have an ordinary robot as it begins to experience emotions and creative thought.

Through two centuries, the robot now named Andrew learns what it takes to be like you and me.

“Bicentennial Man” is another feel good family movie from the wonders of Robin Williams. It never fully challenges his comic timing but does accent upon his growth as an actor.

The toned down demeanor of the central character accents and delivers a much needed range in Robin Williams’ acting cannon.

Bicentennial Man by far isn’t one of his best but will remain as one that allowed Columbus and Williams to push the envelope and enhance their talents.

This is director Chris Columbus’ first time doing science fiction, his other well known films have been “Mrs Doubtfire” and last year’s “Stepmom”.

It’s an interesting departure for him since he is being rumored to direct “Spiderman” for Sony. His powerful family values and heartwarming moments are evident throughout this film.

The century unfolding, the beautiful sets and the special effects are all eye-candy for the holiday crowds. It’s been a while since we had a tame family science fiction film.

The story, originally conceived by Issac Asimov from his novel, “The Positronic Man”, is a tale that has been discussed and overdone a thousand times in science fiction.

I wonder that with the birth of this latest retelling that maybe science fiction fans are bored with another dose.

From Data of Star Trek: The Next Generation to Robocop to Herbie: The Love Bug, maybe sci-fi fans want something new. The story did feel a little stale.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer

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