Hunter (James Marsden) tries to help his dad Frank (Frank Langella) by giving him a robot. Dad’s not having it: “Back off,” Frank says to the short, metallic assistant with the voice of Peter Sarsgaard, “you little astronaut bastard.”
Conveniently, Robot has no opinions on the law.
A sleek sense of near-futuristic cool suits this funny, minor charmer (co-starring Susan Sarandon and Liv Tyler) more than a broad, absurdist tone that filters in due to Frank’s emerging rivalry with Jake (Jeremy Strong, overdoing it). Aside from the advanced robot technology and its availability, this world resembles our current one in that our brains can often be complicated liars.
In a traditionally excellent, subtle performance, Langella embodies a man recapturing his purpose and discovering a bond with a machine stronger than any he’s had with flesh and blood for a while.
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