Movie Review: Zoe (2018)

Quite simply, I wish the data that comprised this picture could be put into a capsule and hurled directly into the Sun. What I was expecting to be a wonderful drama about a man who falls in love with a robot waifu that he has built, slowly turns into a glorified common romance film with a slight science-fiction edge. Zoe doesn’t realize that she’s a machine until a little further into the film, but there’s nothing that even showcases this. Never in the film are there any glitches or malfunctions. Never in the film did I see even so much as a hint of a metal skeleton. Zoe looked so much like a human being that it wasn’t even worth my time. Give me some uncanny valley moments, for Christ’s sake! I wanted to know how this romance was between a man and a machine and I never got that. Sure, there was a section of the film where she had been hit by a car and had to be temporarily shutdown, but there was never a section in the film where I’m shown that Zoe is a robot at all. You could have taken the half hour that deals with robotics out of the film and it would have just been a modern hipster romance flick. And fine, he kisses her next to the digital fireworks – sure, I get it – but she’s not a gynoid. Not to mention the fact that she has noticeable imperfections, which would not exist in what are more than likely going to be idealized partners. Though that might seem sexist as hell, it is a noticeable draw for people interested in relationships with artificial lifeforms. Then there’s the section of the film where she jumps into the water. Really? Really? I’m supposed to buy that. Are you fucking kidding me? What in the hell kind of film did they think they were making. Give me five minutes with the director and this film would be true to fucking form.

As a doll owner, I find this film a disgrace. That’s not what I want. Even the “robots” at the robot brothel don’t look like robots. They just look like regular people, so it’s silly to consider that one of them is going to be decommissioned. Then there’s the love drug. A bit of a side-item to the plot, but it plays a role when this “robot” asks our good doctor if he wants to fuck, but he says that he was only attracted to her when he had the drug. What? Give me five more minutes and all of this would be taken out. Obviously, I need to see about getting the director of this film a love doll, with a sign attached to it that says “Spend Time With This Doll, Then Make The Whole Film Again; But This Time Involve The Entire Doll Community.” Obviously, we want to make something that makes Her and Lars and The Real Girl look like the caricatures that they are. As silly as that sounds, think about this. I’m a director and my job is to make a film that accurately portrays transgender people. I’m not a transperson myself, so I don’t know much about them, nor am I going to bother with involving anyone from that community to be in my film as a consultant. The end result would be a disaster that would more than likely upset the trans community at large. The fact of the matter is that doll people or whatever you want to call us (I don’t like the name Idollator) are a community along with those interested in other alternative relationship methods. The crème de la crème of those methods is of course, the robot waifu or husbando. That being said, if you’re making a movie targeted directly to this audience, then you damned well better have people who are a part of this community as consultants. We know what we’re talking about and we know what we want to see in this kind of film. Zoe is not and will never a be robot in my eyes. She’s missing everything that we’re looking for, whereas Battle Angel Alita fits that perfectly. Yes, even the eyes. In fact, I love the eyes and I will get to that when I review the film later.

At any rate, I think that the filmmakers here missed the mark when it comes to a relationship between artificial intelligence and mankind, which makes me distrustful of any more pseudo-indie attempts in this genre. Stick to high-octane sci-fi movies and leave these kinds of relationships to those presented in anime, which are leagues beyond what this miserable excuse for a film shat out. If you’re into boring hipster romances with too much unnecessary dialogue about what the meaning of love is, then Zoe will be right up your alley. As for me, is it too much for a guy to get a film about a man and his waifu? That’s certainly not what this was. Zexx and I give it two thumbs down, way down. I’m graciously giving it one point for effort.

(1hr 43mins)


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