James lets Danny on the F.R.E.D.I. secret and now must keep it hidden. He doesn’t want to leave it alone at home, so James brings it to school. Soon weird things happen at school and attract the attention of evil businessman Grant, who wants to use F.R.E.D.I. for dastardly purposes. The two must set things right and find Dr. Palmer to get answers about F.R.E.D.I. And on the softer side, James must also have a deep, honest conversation with James’ father, and then impress a girl.
Let’s start with what is this film FREDI. It’s a light action-adventure for the tween and pre-teen audience and leans heavily into making the kid the hero in a very adult situation as well as his friendship with the robot and being able to perform cool superhero-like tricks as a pair. Moral lines are pretty obvious. The good guys are good, and the bad guys are bad.
“…a good film for the future robotics engineer you may have in your home…”
If you’re a kid or have pre-teen kids and everything you’ve read sounds appealing to them, then FREDI is for you. A solid story for the age range, fantastic acting from the kids and veteran actors, particularly Kelly Hu, and some not-so-bad effects.
This is me being positive because I’m clearly not the intended audience. While I have a tween of my own, she’s more into fantasy than science fiction. So that narrows the audience even more. There are no inherent flaws with FREDI, but its story and characters don’t quite stand out from the pack with similar films. E.T. is the high standard and FREDI feels more appropriate for cable television than on the big screen. Though, you could have swapped F.R.E.D.I. with an alien, lost dog, or invisible friend, and you could tell the same story with the same depth.
FREDI is a good film for the future robotics engineer you may have in your home, now playing Minecraft. If I were to imagine what my pre-teen self might have thought, I guess I would like the robot stuff. F.R.E.D.I. itself is a combination of a practically built robot and computer animation and fun to watch, but then F.R.E.D.I. is no R2-D2.
"…a whimsical story of a boy and his robot."