Starring: Frank Langella, Peter Sarsgaard, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler
Directed by: Jake Schreier
Written By: Christopher D. Ford
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 29 min
The main reason I think you should see this film is for Frank Langella, and the pitch perfect titular performance opposite Robot. Beyond that it’s just a great little independent film with a lot of character set in a near and very nicely realized future.
Frank is a great character, and his interactions with Robot are often hilarious. Once he discovers his robotic helper isn’t programmed with the capacity to differentiate between right and wrong, Robot becomes an accomplice as Frank starts re-living his old cat burglar days. It’s great fun to watch, but this movie also has a lot of heart, and balances the humor perfectly with a poignant look at aging and memory loss.
At an hour and half long, it also doesn’t out-stay its welcome, and it certainly doesn’t bloat up the first act with a lot of needless exposition. Frank Langella is nicely supported by Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Peter Sarsgaard, as the voice of Robot. It’s a lot of fun, but also touching and even manages to throw in a few unexpected but very welcome twists during the final act.
If you are in the mood for a fun, light, well written, well directed and acted independent film, you can do a lot worse than Robot & Frank. If you appreciate Frank Langella’s work then this is a must see. It’s set in the future, but the technology doesn’t get in the way of the great story and the characters.
Best viewing format:
While it’s well made and very nicely shot, a HD showing at home will serve this film well enough. This film would be just as effective on a tablet or laptop sized screen.
There’s a couple of really touching twists during the last act I really liked, but I won’t spoil those for you. This film had some great dialog, and I loved this exchange between Frank and Robot.
Frank: You’re growing on me.
Robot: Okay Frank. It’s time for your enema.