ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Movies & Movie Reviews

Movie review: Robot & Frank

Updated on March 13, 2013

The way the future is often depicted in films can be so disappointing; for instance, who isn't frustrated that hover boards still haven't been invented yet?

This quietly absorbing film, set in the near future, doesn't go overboard in its predictions, but its notion that robots will be readily available to help out around the house is certainly an attractive one.

No one would argue that Frank (Frank Langella) is in the later stages of his life. He's getting to the point where his memory isn't what it once was, and his mental deterioration is causing his son Hunter (James Marsden) a lot of concern.

So much so that he decides that it's time to buy his dad a VGC-60L – a life-sized, care-assisting robot. Frank, initially, is highly resistant to the idea. He doesn't feel that he needs help from anyone or thing, and just wants to be left alone.

Slowly but surely however, a somewhat unconventional relationship blossoms. Frank may be getting on in years, but the more time he spends with the robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), the more he realises that he could be of some use to him in terms of resurrecting his career. The problem is, Frank used to be a jewel thief, and with a robot under his command, he's found the perfect accomplice for himself.

There are basically two types of robot films: those that have robots that go mad and kill, and those that don't. This one most certainly falls into the latter category. As far as his family tree is concerned, it wouldn't be a surprise if he shared a genealogical chip or two from Buck Roger's robot sidekick Twiki.

Director Jake Schreier's debut feature is one that is brimming with the most elegant of pathos. It may well have a robot as a co-star but it certainly has a big heart.

It could easily have been simply about the bond between an elderly human and his domestic robot, but the film pushes the relationship a little more with its crime element.

Langella puts in a masterful performance, where he never once allows the robot to upstage him; he's warm, tender and delightfully cheeky with it. It's also nice to see Susan Sarandon in a supporting role too, even if she might be a little on the young side to be Langella's love interest.

There's also something rather charming regarding the fact that the robot isn't overly high tech in specs, although this may be more to do with the film's less than blockbuster budget than anything else. Sarsgaard is a good match for the voice for the robot, despite the fact that he sounds more like Kevin Spacey than Kevin Spacey does.

As buddy movies go, this isn't anywhere near as frenetic as most, but its gentle pace and nature suits it down to the ground. Robot & Frank delights with its oddball pairing of a pensioner and his robot home help proving that old people and technology can mix with remarkably entertaining results. And here's hoping that by the time we all get old and grey, we can all have our own robot to take care of us, with or without a hover board.

4 booms

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Boomuk profile image
      Author

      Boom 5 years ago from London, UK

      Hi there, thanks for the comment. Glad the review helped you out! The film is very easy going, and not the least demanding! However, the relationship that develops between the two leads is one not to be missed. Let us know your thoughts on it once you've seen it.

    • amandajoyshapiro profile image

      amandajoyshapiro 5 years ago

      Your review reminded me this is a film I am still waiting to see on my Netflix list. Re-realizing it's supposed to be a nice easy-going plot, I've moved up a few spots so it arrives next week. Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)