Robotropolis (2011) – Review

1 1/2 Stars

Told mostly through the eyes of a news crew, Robotropolis takes this group of reporters to the unveiling of a facility completely maintained by robots. The machines handle everything from day-to-day tasks, working alongside their human counterparts, policing the human population and are even included in off-duty activities of the human’s they serve. During a soccer game a human player is angered at a robot opponent and elicits a deadly response. Soon all hell is breaking loose around the news crew as they capture the downfall of the facility on camera and fight for their lives.

Christopher Hatton’s Robotropolis is an interesting exercise best suited to a shorter format. In its current incarnation the heavy faux news cast storyline takes up far too much screen time and falls incredibly flat. If there’s a choice of being drawn into a film narrative through experiencing it rather than watching a fictional event on the news I’d always pick the first. Using up so much time on the news casts also has an adverse effect on camera angles, although I’m sure it makes directing much easier, it causes a disconnect with the audience.

The CGI ranges from decent to bad and is comparable to a SyFy movie of the week release. The acting is fine, and falls in line with similar “found footage” flicks. The little “off camera” banter from the crew is useless in establishing any sort of emotion connection with the characters. In the end I didn’t care who lived or died, and really just wanted the 8 o’clock news to get over so I could start enjoying a film.

Director: Christopher Hatton
Stars: Zoe Naylor, Graham Sibley, Edward Foy

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