The trend in business, at least on the manufacturing side, has been the same for years: stop paying people to do what machines can do for a whole lot less. Machines don’t complain, don’t unionize, and don’t go out on their off hours to make web sites that blow the whistle on questionable (or downright illegal) business practices.
And the trend will take the next step forward with “Run Robot Run!”, as Kent Weston, a man who’s surprisingly machinelike on his own, is about to be replaced by an actual machine. But the worst part will come when most everyone–friends, family, even the girl he’s attracted to–will prefer the robot’s company to Kent’s own!
First off, the future as projected by “Run Robot Run!” is pretty nice. A small order of french fries comes on a plate the size of a platter. Beer comes in glasses twice the size of a human head that hold like buckets. You can augment your muscle mass, brain capacity, and even keep your hairline from falling back to your neckline with your choice of breakfast drinks. Sure, I don’t like the whole credit-card-arm-tattoo concept, but you can’t have everything.
And selling space on your last name to corporations for advertising, well…that’s not so outlandish as to be part of the “future”. But I’d happily rename myself Steve Archer Daniels Midland–Supermarket to the World if I could tell my house to send me beer and potato chips to the couch via a remote control car.
But let’s be honest…this is not so far-fetched. O’Connor has crafted a cautionary tale–not in the sense that “Soylent Green” was, but rather by simply showing us an all-too-possible future from extrapolating current trends. Think about it–the news screams about bigger portion sizes every few days as part of their ongoing “We’ve Got Nothing Else To Talk About” campaign of reporting on obesity. Biometrics as computer login device is a concept already getting started. Plus, you know Wal-Mart is aching for the day it can replace all its cashiers and greeters with robots that won’t ask for sick days or vacation time or to get paid more than minimum wage or to be treated like human beings for a change or to be let out of the building.
Aside from the great look at a possible future yet to be, it’s also a bliss of comic feeling and occasional romantic bursts. Guys, if you’re desperate for a rom-com you can actually stomach, go get “Run Robot Run!”. Your wife / girlfriend won’t believe it, but there’s a goodish nugget of chick flick running through this. Which doesn’t in any way detract from the film–even if you’re diametrically opposed to the chick flick, there will still be something here for you to enjoy. Which is the kind of wide appeal that makes for good watching. Even better, there’s going to be a magnificent twist ending. This will be positively unbelievable, and when you see it, if you’re anything like me, your jaw is probably still trying to get off the floor.
All in all, “Run Robot Run!” is going to prove to be a whole lot of different things to a whole lot of different people, and this puts it out in front of a whole lot of different movies.