Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Astro Boy

(USA/Hong Kong, 2009)

Sometimes going to a movie with very low expectations is the very thing you need to enjoy it. My expectations for this one were below zero. I have no interest in Japanese anime, and no knowledge of the hero other than he looks pretty stupid. If you dressed him in red-and-white-checkered dungarees he’d look a lot like Bob’s Big Boy. Not a promising beginning. And the story isn’t much, either. Sort of a high-tech Pinocchio, except Gepetto never rejected the little wooden boy. No, the delights here are in the secondary characters, and the general level of wit the writers brought to the project. There are a lot of very funny lines, and a lot of references to other movies that you may or may not catch. The three robots of the RRF, the Robot Revolutionary Front, are great. And the action all takes place in a well-designed sort of art deco city floating over a giant junkyard. The kids will probably enjoy it more than the adults, but this adult had a good time.