Without a doubt, the boxing robot movie to see this year has to be “Real Steel.” In it, our metallic friends are brought to the forefront and punch it out in the name of glory. In honor of this potential robo-classic, here’s a few movie robots that fight the good fight but unfortunately seem to get knocked out by some of their more famous brethren.
Ash from “Alien”
Things start out normally enough for Ash (played by Ian Holm); he seems a bit stuffy but overall not like the worst guy in the world. But as things get worse, he becomes more and more mysterious. Suddenly his secret is out, and it’s clear that he can’t be the worst guy in the world because he’s not a guy at all.
Poor Ash doesn’t get too many mentions in the pantheon of great film robots, but he should because he’s actually a very important character, showing the extremes that employers are willing to go to just to get one of those creatures, and helping to set up Ellen Ripley’s hatred of androids.
The Iron Giant from “The Iron Giant”
This is an animated film that’s never quite gotten the attention it deserves; that’s a shame, as it probably contains the best performance of Vin Diesel’s career (which truthfully isn’t all that hard to do). In it, he voices the title character, mostly serving up one-word lines and a grunt and grind here and there. But it’s all done with a lot of heart, as “The Iron Giant” offers a different sort of look at the gigantic movie monster and presents us with a character that, though perfectly capable of inflicting great damage, only wants to be friendly and peaceful.
GERTY from “Moon”
It’s an underrated film in its own right, offering a thrilling sci-fi story that is, in a way, a one-man show. But at the heart of it is GERTY, a soothing but discomforting robot voiced by Kevin Spacey. GERTY assists Sam Rockwell with his daily activities on the moon base, and has knowledge of information that Rockwell has purposely been made unaware of.
Not only is GERTY an important character to the story, but it’s a character created out of the film equivalent of sticks and stones. It’s achieved with a voice, a computer screen, and a couple of basic emoticons, yet makes us feel more than the likes of R2-D2 could have ever hoped to.
There’s plenty more A.I. out there waiting for some attention, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled. And be sure to check out “Real Steel.”
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