Robot & Frank
ROBOT & FRANK (12)
D: Jake Schreier
Stage 6/Park Pictures/White Hat/Dog Run (Lance Acord, Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman-Bisbee & Galt Neiderhoffer)
W: Christopher D. Ford
DP: Matthew J. Lloyd
Ed: Jacob Craycroft
Mus: Francis & The Lights
Frank Langella (Frank Weld), Susan Sarandon (Jennifer), Liv Tyler (Madison Weld), James Marsden (Hunter Weld), Peter Sarsgaard (voice of Robot)
Robot & Frank seems to have its heart in the right place, but the unique idea isn't quite made interesting enough with either the screenplay or execution for it to match the potential of its plot.
Set in the near future, Frank, a retired thief, refuses to believe he is suffering the early signs of dementia when his son buys him a helper robot to assist him in his day-to-day life. Initially reluctant to let the robot encroach on his life, Frank gets an idea to train the robot in criminal activities so he can carry out on final gemstone robbery.
The film doesn't quite know if it's a science fiction, comedy or bittersweet drama, instead it's more akin to something Steven Spielberg might have churned out for his contribution to The Twilight Zone Movie (qv), though coated in just a little bit more saccharine.
Frank Langella and the rest of the cast perform admirably, but the story is in need of some tweaking.