Short Circuit (1986)

Short Circuit was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. I would have been in high school when it came out and I loved the tale of No. 5 and how he came to life. So I was excited to rent the film on Vudu today.

Sadly, I found the movie less than entertaining this time.

Newton Crosby (Steve Guttenberg) worked for Nova creating weapons in the form of robots. One day, robot Number 5 (Tim Blaney) was struck by lightning and was suddenly alive. He escaped the facility and met up with Stephanie (Ally Sheedy), a lady who he befriended and helped avoid the army and the Nova forces.

The beginning of Short Circuit was surprisingly disappointing. The set up and the characters were uninspiring and seemed more like something that should be for a 10 year old. Steve Guttenberg is likable, but hardly a standout actors and Fisher Stevens’s Ben Jabituya was an Indian stereotype that bordered on racist.

The story was basically a lesser version of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial with a robot and Ally Sheedy playing Eliot.

However, the only reason this film worked at all was the charisma of the robot Number 5. He was cute and had some definite moments of humor. The end of the movie was decent. I remember being emotional when I first saw the movie despite the obvious set up for what Number 5 was going to do.

Sgt. Rizzo from MASH (also Captain Harris from Police Academy), G.W. Bailey played security leader Skroeder, a one note villain who was just out to destroy Number 5 because that is what he was supposed to do.

I did not hate the second half of this movie, but getting there was painful and made me wonder why I loved this so much as a kid (not to mention, I wasn’t that much of a kid even. I was in high school). Short Circuit was nowhere near what I remembered.

Show the kids. That is the level this might be good for.

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