TV and film just love robots. The most human-like embodiment of technology triggers us to ponder about the limitless potential of technology along with the essence of being human. Clearly there is no single shared sentiment, with a plethora of robot shows being produced, each depicting their own prediction of the function of robots in the future.
The Terminator (1984)
Remember when fledgling politicians used to be less… eccentric and merely portrayed futuristic killer cyborgs on the big screen? Political rant aside, it feels as though the role of the imposing yet deadpan Terminator is tailor-made for Arnold Schwarzenegger and his, let’s just call it, specific acting range. To date, the Terminator series is still easily one of the most iconic film franchises in the sci-fi realm, with “I’ll be back” instantly recognizable by fans and casual impressionists of movie catchphrases.
The Matrix (1999)
With growing usage and reliance on technology, will humanity’s function in society ultimately diminish to the point of obsolescence? Many movie plots have presented varying levels of optimism in response to this debate, but the Matrix trilogy takes it a step further by throwing an additional conundrum – the realness of reality – into the film narrative. In the Matrix’s dystopian world, humans serve as fuel for robots whilst being pacified by simulated reality depicting the usual world we are accustomed to. Its premise may sound convoluted, but the Wachowski brothers (directors of said film) masterfully present it to the general audience.
Yet another robot-themed film set in a dystopian future? Fortunately, that is where the parallels between Wall-E and many other stereotypical robot movies end. A robot movie void of on-screen action, and even of dialogue for the first half of the movie? Check. Non-humanoid robots as, not just one, but both of the movie leads? Check. An unusually sanguine perspective on a (hypothetical) regressed human race due to technological advancement? Check. To the dismay of fans, Pixar has confirmed there will be no Wall-E sequel, but at least there is no risk in a bad sequel downplaying the beauty of the original.
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