Short Circuit Review

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Number 5, a rogue robot on the run from the law and various scientists, finds sanctuary with the angelic Stephanie Speck (Sheedy) and the goodie-goodie Newton Crosby (Guttenberg). The threesome flee Number 5's captors, trade life stories and two of them fall in love...


This is a comic spin of the E.T., principle, wielded here in the service of a “cute” robot, Number 5, who develops a “mind” after an accident and escapes the nasty scientists who want to experiment on him. Steve Guttenberg is on hand, threatening some kind of gravitas but never delivering more than a schmaltzy appropriation of being slightly concerned about the predicament he finds himself in. Still, he can’t be blamed for looking lost in a film that demands emotional connections with a robot whose voice is one of the most annoying ever produced. Give us Hal, R2-D2 or a barber shop quartet of Daleks any day.

Safe, sentimental, and loved by kids, Short Circuit never tries to dissect it's predecessor (E.T.) nor outdo it in any way. Would have been nice to see a human-robot love triangle.