There is a growing concern over the sophistication of AI and the impact it could have on mankind. Although far less sophisticated, a more pressing concern is the attempt by British comedian Jack Whitehall to make it in Hollywood.
Things must be getting desperate for him however, as he doubles down in this ‘rom-com’ by playing two roles, as if just one of him wasn’t troubling enough as it is.
It’s 2032, and as expected, robots have taken up key positions as valuable workers in society. The technology has advanced to such a degree, that robots can now be created to look exactly like their human counterparts, and it’s for this very reason that doing so is against the law.
This hasn’t stopped Charles (Whitehall) however, as he has had a double of himself made, and is putting ‘him’ to dubious use, in dating as many women as he can, only stepping in for the more physical aspects – i.e. sex.
He meets his match however when his other self C2 (Whitehall), begins wooing Elaine (Shailene Woodley), who not only has a secret agenda of her own of being a gold-digger, but also being in possession of her own robot double E2 (Woodley).
Things soon get complicated, with love in the air, but not for the couple you would expect, causing major complications in everyone’s lives.
Clearly Whitehall is desperate to make it big on the other side of the pond, as there’s no other reason he would appear in the terrible family film Clifford the Big Red Dog. In truth he needed a hit with his next project, and although the notion of playing two characters would appeal to his narcissism, this is a real dud.
Although based on one of Robert Sheckley’s short stories from 1973, this obvious vehicle for Whitehall, and less so for co-star Woodley who at least has proven talent on her side, is a boring affair. After all, when a rom-com is completely devoid of both romance and comedy, you know you’re in trouble.
It is the directorial debut for both Anthony Hines and Casper Christensen, but sadly the pair don’t do themselves any favours with this effort. Everything from the script to its cinematography lacks any kind of originality and sparkle. It also features a horrid soundtrack with some truly annoying music, that clearly was added to bring out some personality, but fails miserably by being utterly grating.
Everything about it is mechanical, and not in a good way, as it goes through its generic gears struggling to find any kind of rhythm. In short, it’s a painful watch.
Woodley deserves better, having already proven herself to be a promising talent. Even Whitehall deserves b-, actually, he doesn’t, this is exactly what he deserves, and should serve as a valuable lesson that he really needs to be more picky when it comes to these projects. This is a film that will undoubtedly set his pursuit of a Hollywood career back a step or two. So at least it’s not all bad news.
This is a film that wants to feel that its tapping into the current zeitgeist, but what it’s ultimately doing is failing spectacularly.
Robots needs less of a hard re-boot, and more to be melted down into spare parts never to be seen again.