Ron’s Gone Wrong in theaters nationwide October 22, 2021.
Ron’s Gone Wrong is a computer-animation family comedy set in the near future, where every kid owns a ‘B-Bot.’ Created by the Bubble Corporation, B-Bots are digitally connected robots tailored to each child via their social media presence. Socially awkward seventh grader Barney Pudowski soon realizes his B-Bot, “Ron,” isn’t like everyone else’s.
Barney is played by Jack Dylan Grazer (It, Shazam), who is frustrated with his malfunctioning B-Bot. Although he quickly realizes Ron’s flaws make him a better friend. However, Ron’s malfunctions threaten the functionality of all B-Bots. He and Barney are hunted down by the Bubble Corporation in a scene that channels Spielberg’s classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
The film examines the effect of social media on relationships, particularly among young people.
Ron’s Gone Wrong is propelled by a stellar voice cast. In particular, an outstanding performance by Zach Galifianakis. This film has spirit but is far too derivative of Big Hero 6 and Wreck-It Ralph. Although the beautifully rendered animation is overstimulating at times, it is most likely a deliberate choice by directors Jean-Philippe Vine and Sarah Smith to mimic smartphones ubiquity. The creator of the B-Bot’s, Marc (Justice Smith), is an obvious stand-in for Mark Zuckerberg. He genuinely wants every kid to have a robot friend. His fellow executive at Bubble, Andrew (Rob Delaney), whose only interest is in the corporation’s stock price, is a parody of Steve Jobs,
The central message is that friendship is not something that can be borne out of an algorithm. Young people nowadays put way too much value on online clout over genuine friendships. So the way Barney and Ron agree friendship is a two-way street is heart-warming.
I give Ron’s Gone Wrong a 7 out of 10. It is a cute, sentimental, and well-made film that errs on the side of predictability. However, at a runtime of 106 minutes, it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Much like the B-Bots themselves, this movie is an enjoyable distraction.
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