Astro Boy

2009-12-04 13:33
Astro Boy

What it’s about:

Set in the far distant future where the upper echelons of society live in various floating cities in the sky, and the poor down on the surface (which looks remarkably a lot like a gigantic garbage dump), the story follows the journeys of Astro (voiced by Freddie Highmore) – the young, but brilliant son of the talented scientist, Dr Tenma (Nicolas Cage). Astro is hurt after an accident at his father's lab and a distraught Dr Tenma attempts to revive his son using the technology at his disposal, forever altering his son's life.

What I thought about it:   

Think "futuristic Pinocchio" and then factor in a power-crazy general, a handful of mild-mannered scientists and a lead character more superhero fighting robot than innocent wooden puppet and you’ll have a vague idea what’s about to happen. Well, to be fair the movie did a pretty good job of recreating the atmosphere created in the original Japanese anime classic – which in itself is an achievement as most Western (or should I say, American) remakes of classic Eastern stories tend to be littered with faults and fail to pay homage to the original source (if I could use the example of the Dragon Ball movie which was released earlier this year).

That being said, I felt the movie itself, though being animated, dealt with many issues which may be lost on younger audiences – issues like finding one’s rightful place in the world, dealing with loss and the general issue of acceptance, which is a recurring theme throughout the movie.

Though at its core, the movie is still an action-packed adventure designed to thrill and, unlike some animated efforts, Astro Boy actually has a measure of substance. Not only is there a storyline which is genuinely engaging for both children and their parents, but it also manages to create the balance between comedy and action scenes usually only found in a Will Smith movie.

In addition to this, the depth of the characters was worth noting. Dynamic and compelling, I found myself really caring what happens to each of them. The fight scenes themselves are surprisingly believable and as I said before, they’re just as likely to make you laugh as they are to make jump in your seat (even if it's only a small jump).

Astro Boy proved to be a pleasant surprise because of its depth, and while there is some room for improvement, the movie is enjoyable and worth checking out.

Little Astro goes from regular child of a world renowned scientist to world-saving superhero robot.

Gerard Walsh 2009/12/08 8:45 AM
SPOILER ALERT It appears that the reviewer did not see the film - Astro NOT Tenma's son, but a robot replacement for the boy, who dies - not "is hurt after an accident".
Jimbo 2009/12/08 1:39 PM
What is the age limit? Would this be suitable for young children, 4-5yr olds? Got to admit mine are real softies and don't do well with too much violence, also never been to a movie - Farm boys.
Shaheema 2009/12/08 2:24 PM
Hi Jimbo. The age restriction (as can be seen on the right of the page) is no ages under for scenes of violence and some mature subject matter. I wouldn't say 4-5 yr olds are ready for this. Perhaps something like Ice Age or Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs would be more suitable.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.