Mankind has taken his next big step: a state-of-the-art city called New Town, completely run by robots serving all of humanity's needs. Reporter Christiane Nouveau (Zoe Naylor, The Reef) and her crew are covering the new breakthrough, but something is about to go horribly wrong when a robot suddenly shoots down an innocent football player. Now a battle for survival has begun as Christiane captures every stunning development in the shocking robot revolution live on camera... recording each moment as our last great hope becomes our worst nightmare. Filled with explosive special effects and relentless action, this chilling sci-fi vision of the future will blow you away!
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“Robotropolis” begins with a found-footage scene of a BURD-3 robot gone mad. This is not, as some reviews have suggested, the end of the plot indicating that humanity is doomed in some kind of Terminator-esque apocalypse. It is in fact test footage of a prototype that was covered up, indicating that the robot servants were a very bad idea to begin with.
With that grim scene setting the stage, we move to an island off of China and a demo-colony known as New Town. Mega Corp (there’s not a creative names in this movie) is planning to release these robots to the public in a civil capacity, despite the fact that up to that point they’ve been used primarily as war machines.
We follow Christiane Noveau (Zoe Naylor) as she reports on the action in real time, breathlessly taking in a playful soccer match between robot and human – and then something goes horribly awry. Mind you, there’s never any explanation as to why civilian robots are armed with everything from guns to chainsaws to flamethrowers, but it’s not long before a robo-revolution erupts and the BURDs begin exterminating tearing through the human population like butter.
Running throughout the narrative is a commentary on the state of media. Christine has a curious relationship with her producer, who guides every scene like an omniscient deity. He is opposed by millionaire inventor Gordon Standsh (Lani John Tupu, you may recall him from Farscape), who waffles between losing his temper and demanding everything be shut down to trying to salvage what’s left of his reputation.
The CGI robots are adequate for the most part. They become particularly terrifying when they resort to running on four limbs, more dog-like than humanoid, but in several scenes they seem very fake. And the slaughte3r is egregious – the robots seem to have an endless supply of weapons and ammunition, as likely to wear intestines like a necklace as they are to smash a man’s head.
Careful viewers will see that there is an explanation as to why the robots run amuck. It’s not necessarily a coherent reason, but it’s a reason, and once we find that out “Robotropolis” has nowhere to go, so it just ends. That’s right, this is one of those movies that knows better than to stick around after delivering on reams of robo-riots.
“Robotropolis” isn’t a bad film. It’s just not particularly ambitious. Fans looking for robot slaughter will not be disappointed.
Once there the CEO tells them that this is basically `the future' in that robots are now fully integrated. They do all the jobs we can't be arsed with, like routine maintenance, security and taking the kids to school. They are all alike except for some security markings and look like a poor version of the Storm troopers from Star Wars - only poorly done in CGI. Whilst the `reporters' are doing a piece to camera, of an innocent game of `soccer. One robot "catastrophically malfunctions"! Well it shoots one of the other players and this is live on the news feed. This then becomes a `Killbot!!' and as the news is fed all around the less than interested world, the fortunes of Mega Naffall Industries start to wane.
What happens next is an exercise in how to save production costs. I once saw a film producer say that the best invention for film ever, was the telephone. He demonstrated by picking up his phone and screaming `what you mean Godzilla has eaten New York!?!' This would apparently save three million dollars. Well director Christopher Hatton has come up with a newish way, he has the anchor man in the news room have the reporter tell him what is going on in New Town as the camera has been eaten by a killbot ; so we are told that thousands have died and even more are on the streets fighting the robots. The only news reel we can see shows six lack lustre fifth rate `actors' doing a ropey pretence of running away from some killbots who are armed with everything from electric carving knives, to flame throwers. The anchor man says at one point `for those of you that pray, this would be a good time'; well I started praying to the gods of decent acting, good continuity, plot development and production values - alas my prayers were left unanswered.
This third rate, badly acted guff continued for a bowel shatteringly, boring 81 minutes, it would have made a better comedy but in the end it is a big idea versus a small budget and I guess the budget just won. The ending is seen lumbering before it is even over the horizon and by the time it happens you will be looking forward to watching a local news bulletin rather than endure any more of this unctuous tripe. I tried to like it and even laughed at one point, but it was for all the wrong reasons - this will appeal to no -one do yourself a favour even if you are tempted, just watch a community cable channel it will be time better spent.
There is not much plot to summarize here. Robots begin killing and it is still the most boring string of events imaginable. Mostly just our "heros" hiding in warehouses and behind planks of wood. The only slightly good scene was to see hand to hand combat with a robot where they could easily hold its arms back and beat it with sticks and pipes. It was never explained why all the robots were builtin with firearms and flamethrowers. You would be hard pressed to find any further entertainment from this garbage. Hopefully someone is pretty ashamed of themselves right now.