"Robotech: The Movie" (Japan, 1986) 1/2
Nuart Theater, today, 10:45 p.m.: 82 minutes
"Robotech" is essentially a low-budget science fiction movie done in animation because it's cheaper than live action. Although billed as "The Movie," it looks suspiciously like re-cut footage from the syndicated television program.
Adwright Chamberlin's script adds snap-together robots to bits and pieces borrowed from countless other films. The climax of the feature--a one-man space ship flying down a trench to reach the only vulnerable spot on the gigantic enemy vessel--is shamelessly lifted from "Star Wars."
The animation itself is so limited, it makes Saturday morning kidvid look lavish. The artists can't even keep the appearance of the characters consistent from one scene to the next. Many Japanese features use exciting cutting and editing to make up for inferior animation, but directors Carl Macek and Ishiguro Noburo handle every scene with a uniform lack of imagination. Their attempts to copy Japanese comic book layouts, by using a split screen, are merely confusing.
This film will delight the 8-year-old boys who collect the "Robotech" toys; anyone else will probably find it a test of endurance.