An utterly charming comic yarn about a retired crank of a senior citizen (Shinjiro Igarashi) who becomes the unlikely savior of a group of muddled computer technicians. As in most Japanese comedies I have seen, the characters are exaggerated, but in this case not beyond the reasonable, preserving a real human touch. It was especially refreshing to have an elderly man as the main character. Someone that family and others don’t quite take seriously, not really paying attention to what he says. So, continuing with the plot, when their design fails, they recruit Igarashi – despite his age, he fits the existing metal robot frame – but when he instinctively saves a young brainiac from being brained by a falling beam, the faux cyborg becomes an unlikely national hero.
As is perhaps inevitable for an idea of this kind, the first part is more vibrant while the second is likely to fall in the repetition. The strong points of the movie are its sympathetic and humorous moments in many hilarious slapstick situations when the brand new robot suddenly reveals a couple of weird abilities that put a lot of pressure on the untalented and somewhat lazy creators who have many challenges to hide their biggest secret and make the world believe that their robot is a real one and not only a disguised human. This scenario is nothing original but keeps the entertainment on a high until the very end. One of the best scenes has our trio giving a “lecture” to some college students in which various kids ask how they managed to get the robot to be able to do this and that; they cleverly turn the question around, asking what the students think they did, and busily take notes as the students proceed to explain how to build a robot – that scene alone is priceless!
Another big point is the good good acting. The young Japanese star Yuriko Yoshitaka is not only charming and beautiful but also a charismatic actress that plays the role of a somewhat hyperactive and naive but also very smart student. The Japanese actor Mickey Curtis plays a rather unusual and stubborn senior movie hero who slips into the costume of a robot and suddenly gets a star out of his boring and lonesome life as. Next to many superhero movies with young actors and many computer simulations or special effects, his acting is quite refreshing and gives the whole thing a very human and authentic touch. This idea is an interesting alternative to other very human robot movies such as “Short Circuit” or “Wall-E” and quite innovating from that point of view even if the mentioned movies are still more philosophical and touching.
In the end, this is a very different kind of your usual robot movie that convinces with a solid acting and a couple of good ideas. On the other side, many lengths and the rather predictable ending rate down this flick that could have hit harder and have been even more innovating at some points. There are no real bad guys here, and nothing terrible happens to anybody, but the sheer premise of the film sets the audience to laughing from almost the first minute, and as for the ending, well, let’s just say it was unexpected! Good fun, and worth looking for!