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Brandon Spoils Movies - Short Circuit

Written by: Brandon Fisher

shortcircuit

There are two schools of people; those who believe robots will be our servants and those who believe robots will destroy us all. What if they are both? If that’s true - why is no one scared of butlers? In the movie Short Circuit, a military operation named NOVA (poorly named since it means “No Go” in Spanish) creates a line of military bots who side as servants during non war time. One of these bots, Number Five, gets left plugged into a generator during a rain storm and gets short circuited, thus giving it sentient life and a snarky attitude. The robot escapes and hides from the government with the assistance of Food Truck driver/crazy person Ally Sheedy and its creators Steve Guttenberg and Fisher Stevens. The rest of the movie plays out like a mix between Wall-E and ET or as it shall be known Wall-ET.

Wall-ET escapes and he inadvertently meets up with Sheedy who takes care of him and teaches him to be human - like make her food, kick her ex-boyfriend’s ass, give her adventure…sounds like she just programmed a new boyfriend. I am not sure what time period this was supposed to take place in, I assume the shitty eighties due to the shitty eighties music, but even 25 years later all forms of electronics (including Wall-ET) need physical input to write information. I can’t hold my Ipod over a CD and make it start playing that CD. So how could Wall-ET read? Did someone teach him that? How does Wall-ET know voice commands with no ears or mouth? And why does Wall-ET’s voice sound different than the other bots – weren’t they all programmed the same using the same resources. Later when he fights the other bots – he teaches them how to be the Three Stooges and their voice changes – did he hot wire their hardware? He even knows how to laugh – I am not sure this is distinctly human – I have been to many comedy shows where humans lack the ability to laugh.

Let’s talk about Wall-ET for a second. He’s basically a destructive, lovable unmanned military drone (maybe Obama should have used Wall-ET – could have saved him some flack.)  This sounds a lot like how Terminators started. Are we sure there wasn’t an “Off” button on the T1000? Speaking of power – we know Wall-ET needs a generator to supply its power, so why did it never get recharged?

This movie is about the desire to be something you are not. Wall-ET wants to be human. Fisher Stevens wants to be Indian. Steve Guttenberg wants to be smart. And Ally Sheedy wants to be attractive. We can’t be what we aren’t programmed to be - as they repeated – we just run programs. But maybe we can all learn a little something along the way. Like most kids movies, Short Circuit teaches children never trust the government.

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