Some believe he's a comic genius. Others think he is saccharine and irritating with a truly appalling beard. But whatever you think of Robin Williams, after watching "Bicentennial Man" you'll be thinking long and hard before going to see one of his movies again. Stultifyingly dull and a disgusting waste of valuable film dollars, this is the kind of studio cack that should be acknowledged for the shameful mess that it is and consigned to the rubbish bin.
It spans 200 years - from a moment in the future when the Martin family invest in a domestic robot whom they call Andrew (Williams). As the film continues, so does Andrew's desire to shed his android form and become human. He starts making things, reading, and interacting with the family, encouraged by the benevolent Dad (Neill). It's a viable idea, but somewhere along the Hollywood production line, the message has got so mixed up that the result is the worst kind of movie - one with no direction, no identity, and above all no heart.
The fundamental problem is that it utterly fails to set out its objectives and adhere to them. Is it a comedy? No, because it's not funny. Or is it about everyone's need for love, as Andrew gradually begins to fall for Portia (and stop with those pneumatic pump jokes)? Or is it about artificial intelligence versus natural intelligence and humanity's fear of the unknown?
As for the film makers, they should be told to get out of their comfy leather chairs in their comfy offices and stop making movies until they apologise for what they have done. Do not, repeat, do not see this film.