Frank receives a gift from his son that he refuses to accept until he realizes that it can be used to help him with his old criminal ways.
Writer: Christopher D. Ford
Director: Jake Schreier
Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon
Run time/Rating: 89 Minutes/ PG-13
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
Robot and Frank is one of those movies that I have been meaning to watch ever since it came out. I skipped it in the theaters, passed it up in the RedBox dozens of times. It ultimately took a lazy night and the ease of Netflix watch now to finally get around to it. I think that I passed up on it so many times before because I knew it would be exactly what I expected. It was a really nice, enjoyable, both funny and touching quick film. I knew that having a great movie like this in my back pocket for just a night like last night is a convenient thing to hold on to. That being said, I wish I hadn’t of waited so long.
Set in a future not far from where we are right now, Robots have become common in our society. They have been produced to do many of the things that we find annoying to do; cook, clean, garden. They have also advanced to the point where they can adapt and became friendly with humans and personalize their programs for each individual person they are assigned to. They assist with the chores, keep people active as physical trainers or simply provide company.
For all of these reasons Frank’s son Hunter (James Marsden) drops a robot off at his Dad’s doorstep during a visit. After a short adaption period Frank realizes that there are worst things than having a robot around. Frank who we learn has been a career crook performing heists ranging from decorative soaps at a local artisan store to multimillion dollar jewels engages his new toy with some of his old antics and they develop into a little team. The Robot who was brought in partially to keep Frank focused and encourage him to pursue a new interest finds this returning hobby suitable.
The writing is witty and the story is entertaining. Frank Langella is perfect for the role of the begrudged old crook stuck in a rut waiting to die. He is just pleasant enough to believe that he could charm the local librarian played by Susan Surrandon and evolve enough to engage in a friendship with what he once called “an appliance”. Peter Sarsgaard delivers a great voice performance as Robot providing a touch of the typical robot voice that we all know and expect but with a personal and comedic touch. Susan Surrandon is also nice to see as the librarian which helped set the future timeframe as she is clearly being pushed out of an antiquated position with the help of Robots.
I really enjoyed Robot and Frank and I think that you will too. Next time you have 90 minutes to sit down and invest in watching the TV, rather than some poorly made TV show with commercials, or a realty show which is even more poorly made, sign on to Netflix and enjoy a quick and fun movie about a robot and an old crook.