WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As any of you who follow me on Twitter may know I’ve been suffering from a terrible craving for a cheesy sci-fi movie lately. Many people suggested Galaxy of Terror, but I couldn’t wait for my copy to arrive (I promise to watch it soon). When I came across Robotropolis I was immediately captivated by its cover with an almost toy-like android and decided to take a chance on it. With below average acting, a wafer thin plot and CGI that lies somewhere between The Asylum and SyFy Originals you really can’t go wrong with this movie. Robotropolis is a b-movie at its finest that’s daft enough to be a very enjoyable 80 minutes but not painful enough that you’d want to wash your brain off with bleach afterwards. It also does gooey body parts remarkably well.
You are watching GNN and reporting live from New Town in the south China Sea is star reporter Christiane Nouveau. New Town is a bustling new city on an island owned solely by MegaNational Industries and this is the first time reporters are being allowed in to film and document the amazing technological developments going on here. While New Town has been built up around an enormous oil refinery the main thing the teams of scientists and groups of cheap labour have managed to accomplish is the development of robots to help out with all the different kinds of labour we humans just don’t feel like doing. This can range from manual labour to raising our children. Of course, what can possibly go wrong when we place our safety and future in the mechanical hands of humanoid constructs incapable of experiencing an emotion?
Christiane has been absolutely enthralled with the robots up until this point, thanks in no small part to the fact that they know how to mix a decent cocktail. This opinion and perception changes a little, however, when she’s reporting on a little soccer game where one of the players is a robot. At one point, and seemingly unprovoked, the robot decides to shoot one of the players. After that the robot simply walks off, leaving everyone else utterly baffled as to what just happened. Since the only way to differentiate the robots from one another is by the printing on it that designates their job, it’s gonna be very difficult to find that one particular robot in this big city. Before a decent search can get underway reports start to stream in about robots attacking people. The problem here is the fact that the entire security force is comprised of robots as well…
I would like to raise the point that, despite the failure of the programmers to stop the robots from going on a blood thirsty rampage in the first place, the robots come with a more serious design flaw. These robots are meant to fulfill basic functions in society such as police, medics, construction workers and the like. Why then do all the robots come with built-in guns, drills, saws and flamethrowers? While this does make the killing spree much easier (and juicier) it would appear that the robots are a little over armed in my humble opinion. While trying to escape from the robots Christiane’s also going to try and keep reporting the news so that her boyfriend can earn himself a nice big pay cheque by dominating the 5pm news. After all, being in a relationship means having to make sacrifices. When the robots learn how to throw helicopters around and leave the humans with no way of getting off the island it’s up to Christiane and the two or three surviving tech junkies to devise a plan to bring the robots down and have them permanently decommissioned.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Men are always ready for a little girl-on-robot action.
- Robots are always moving the candy, gum and chips around in shops.
- Billionaires get to where they are by giving in to boyish whims and fancies.
- When the robot says ‘halt’, you best halt.
- The robot revolution will be televised.
- You don’t need functional satellites to beam footage around the world.
- Being hunted down by murderous robots isn’t overly different to visiting a Turkish bathhouse.
- Camera phones have video quality on par with the most sophisticated video cameras.
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Oh, The Asylum. There’s not an awful lot of good things that can be said about them but credit must be given to them for almost single-handedly keeping End of the World Month going. 2012: Supernova forms part of their 2012 (loose) trilogy of disaster movies. I’ve already reviewed 2012: Ice Age and, like it’s sibling, this movie is inspired by events in another movie. I’m going to hazard a guess that this one got its idea from Knowing. The whole thing is one giant technical inaccuracy and I spent most of my time looking at the TV absolutely gobsmacked that they thought this kind of storyline was going to hold itself together. But then I reminded myself that it was a movie by The Asylum and suddenly it all made a lot more sense.
200 years ago in a far off constellation a star went supernova, destroying its solar system and sending deathly rays out in every direction. This supernova was so destructive, in fact, that its horrendous gamma ray beams are still every bit as destructive 200 years later, and they’re heading right for us. NASA is trying to prepare a crack team of the most ridiculously stereotypical people you can possibly imagine: Kelvin, the no-nonsense all American guy, Dzerzhinsky, the mummified-in-Vodka Russian with a terrible fake Russian accent, and Dr. Kwang Ye, a Chinese female who knows nothing in this world other than how to save the Earth and how to glorify The People’s Republic of China. I’m actually fairly certain that we could get the Asylum arrested for this type of stereotyping; I’m sure the UN would have something to say about it.
Before we can save the Earth, however, we need to actually get Kelvin to the damn NASA base where this whole project is being coordinated. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, even more stereotypes appear, this time in the guise of Middle Eastern men with thick accents waving semi-automatic weapons in the air. They don’t seem to have any clue what it is they’re doing because first of all they try to shoot Kelvin and his family and then, when they have them cornered in a warehouse, ask them a number of questions, mainly about why the Americans have been taking nuclear weapons up to the International Space Station. Thankfully other government agents rock up and shoot the bad, bad non-Americans. Kelvin then heads off to the base while his wife and daughter head home to get some things and plan to join up with him later.
So the supernova is on its way, it’s already blown up a remarkably solid Pluto and is now busy jetting its way past and through the moons of Jupiter. What’s the plan? Well, the scientists agree that the Earth’s magnetosphere is not going to be enough to protect us from a direct hit from the supernova (duh, it just blew up Pluto), so what they’re going to do is blow up a few hundred nuclear warheads above the magnetosphere to give the Earth some extra coating and seal all our juices in nice and tight. We’ll deal with the horrifying effects of nuclear fallout across the planet later. Problems arise when the approach of the supernova begins to affect the planet’s weather, triggers earthquakes and randomly makes Mount Vesuvius erupt again. Couple this with the fact that someone’s trying to sabotage the launch to the ISS to detonate the warheads and we’re in for a tepid, adrenaline-lacking race to save mankind from total annihilation.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Nobody really wants to know the identity of the people aiming a machine gun through their car’s window.
- The art of kidnapping someone and taking them alive relies on shooting wildly in random directions.
- Some people view saving mankind from utter annihilation is just another part of the day.
- Wishing for nuclear warheads isn’t going to make them appear.
- An entire NASA launch pad only requires 3 minutes to undergo a complete safety check.
- It’s preferable to destroy the planet slowly than allow it to be destroyed in one cataclysmic blast.
- You don’t need clouds to have thunder and lightning.
- Timing when something is about to destroy Earth is really just a matter of guesswork until it actually hits us.
- The kindness of strangers will usually end with you taking a lead pipe to the back of their heads.
- Computers just make space shuttle technicians lazy cowards.
2012: SUPERNOVA TRAILER
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