Robot Jox (1990) – By Brian Morton

When was the last time you watched a movie and thought to yourself, as you’re watching it, "Why the hell am I watching this?" Well, I had this experience recently while watching Robot Jox.

This is a story set in a future where war is no longer fought by armies, but by giant robots. The main two super-powers in this future are the Confederation, which I believe is supposed to be Russia. And I believe this mostly because everyone in the Confederation has a thick, hokey Russian accent. And, in the other corner we’ve got the Market, who is, of course, supposed to be us here in the good old US of A. And I believe that mostly because the good guys here wear cowboy hats, they’re called Tex and the symbol is a star that looks like the one that appears on the sides of our air force planes.

The story here is simple, two rival Robot Jox from opposite countries, who also hate each other personally, are scheduled to fight over ownership of Alaska. The evil Robot Jox from the Confederation has killed everyone on the Market’s team, except for our hero, Achilles. And Achilles is the best, so it’s built up to be a really good fight. And, I guess if you were eight years old it would be one of the coolest movie fights ever made, but being that I’m not, stop motion robots fighting just seemed slightly less silly than watching a rerun of Power Rangers.

Add into the mix a sub-plot about genetically engineered Robot Jox, one of whom is a girl who Achilles falls in love with, and another subplot about Achilles walking away from fighting after innocent people in the bleachers are accidentally killed, and you’ve got yourself a pretty generic sci-fi drama.

Robot Jox is a great movie for your kids, but if you watch it, you better make sure you’ve had plenty of sleep! And there’s only two things to really watch for here, first, keep your eyes open for a pre-Re-Animator Jeffery Combs as the 1st Prole, I’m not sure what a Prole is, but apparently they enjoy betting on the Robot Jox fights and then, second, in the last scene after the "titanic" battle of the robots, when Achilles tells his Confederation counterpart that they don’t have to fight to the death, that they can live, you won’t want to miss the bad guy’s, Alexander’s, line, "We’re Robot Jox, we’re already dead." At that last line, if you’re not laughing at the high drama after a cheesy stop motion robot fight, you might not have a sense of humor! It’s Robot Jox and there’s no ointment strong enough to get rid of this "Jox Itch", I’d recommend a Power Rangers rerun and saving your precious rental money! And, until next time, remember to keep your robot oily…and that’s not a double entendre, and, remember the best movies are bad movies!