|Directed by:||David Bowers|
|Written by:||Timothy Harris|
|Cast:||Nicolas Cage, Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane|
During the first 15-20 minutes of this retro-style CG-animated adventure (from the same animation studio that brought us 2007's TMNT) I became deathly afraid that I was watching an abomination of misinterpreted filmmaking (the movie is based off a very popular manga series). The first act was truly cringe-inducing. Yet somehow after we're officially introduced to the character of Astro (voiced with great enthusiasm by Freddie Highmore) the movie began to take flight with its story, its humor began to win me over and the characters that popped up along the way were quite entertaining. By the halfway point I had been swept up by ASTRO BOY and its charms. I still don't know how.
The story takes elements from such movies like A.I., FRANKENSTEIN and I, ROBOT as well as humorous nods to various other films like GLADIATOR and KING KONG and gives them a pleasing 50's sci-fi retro look.
The voice cast, despite some unintentionally funny acting in the first act ultimately delivered. The voices include Highmore, Kristen Bell, Bill Nighy, Eugene Levy, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, and even Nicholas Cage. My favorite characters were the RRF (Robot Revolution Front) which consists of a trio of rebellious but slow-witted machines.
If you happen to go see this, try and check it out on a digital projection screen or on Blu-Ray, it will look even better.