Las Vegas Film Society

Bicentennial Man


Robin Williams. Wow. What a career this man has achieved as both an actor and a comedian. I won't say that I like every movie he has made, or every decision he has made, but, to be sure, some of the best movies during the last 15 years star Robin Williams. Everything from his early, albeit raunchy, stand up comedy acts, to Mork & Mindy, and Bicentennial Man, this individual has shown his ability to adapt, his level of talent, and his ability to grow as a person and as a celebrity. Although some of his later films are a little "too" touchy feely (Patch Adams, anyone?), and certainly this film is very much an emotion fest, Bicentennial Man doesn't seem to suffer too much from 'cutesy-itis.'

Don't get me wrong, there are several parts during this movie that will definately pull at your heartstrings, no matter who you are or how "cool" you are. The thing about this movie is that is feels "real."

Bicentennial Man's concept is fairly simple. Robin Williams plays a robot made not too far off in our future, made to be a mechanical maid. For some strange reason, this particular robot appears to be displaying emotion. Over the course of Three generations, we get to watch as this robot (named 'Andrew") grows to become almost more human than those he is around.

I really don't think I should go into the story any deeper than that, as I think it would detract from the enjoyment of seeing the film. Like I said earlier, this movie covers three complete generations in the same family. It almost feels as if you are experiencing 200 years worth of lifetime as you watch this movie.

Absolutely fantastic writing! Not to mention the best perfomances I can remember not only from Robin, but from Sam Neil and from Embeth Davidtz, an actress who, in my humble opinion, has been totally unrecognized in Hollywood for her superb acting ability. I can only think of two other movies she has been in (although I am sure she has been in far more), those being "Army of Darkness" and "Fallen." Embeth plays two characters in this film, and you get the distinct feeling that they ARE two seperate people, not like Nicolas Cage's sterile performance in 'Face Off.' Embeth has a beauty that is not immediate, but is very addicting and contagious. By then end of the film, you will understand why Robin's character does what it does, and you will FEEL what his character is feeling.

This movie is not a short movie, but I am unable to think of any parts that I would cut, or any parts that are not necessary to the telling of this tale. This movie is a reward for the viewer, a prize for handing over your $20+, a vacation from your life, and well worth the 2 hours plus you will be investing into this film.

Although I think this is a great film for families, it may be hard to get younger children to sit through this long of a movie, and some parts of the movie will definately be beyond most kids' understanding. This is a great "date" movie, and is even better for married couples (think twice if it is a 1st date, it is a little deep). Whatever your situation, you owe it to yourself to find a reason and an afternoon to see this film. If you miss it while it is on the big screen, then buy it on tape (or better yet, DVD).

You can't ask for a better film, a better afternoon, or a warmer evening.


Another proud member of the Emperor family.