Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 18 minutes
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Robin the Boy Wonder, sidekick to crime fighter Batman, is in his room doing whatever it is that Robin does. Apparently this includes fixating on his legs, which he appears to be constantly working on in an attempt to make them smoother (I think; he rubs them a lot). He doesn’t get much time to himself, however, as he’s constantly answering his phone and rushing off to help Batman with whatever, a pattern that repeats over and over again.
My biggest issue with Robin’s Incoming Calls is that there is too much of it. Creeping up on twenty minutes worth of slight variations on the same joke (Robin obsessing about the smoothness of his legs, constantly getting interrupted by emergency phone calls from Batman, etc), it strains attention spans and not in a good way. Simply, it feels like a long joke with no punchline.
Because if it wanted to really do something fun, perhaps it would give us more of a creative glimpse into what Robin does in his spare time. It kind of goes there, what with a sequence involving candle wax, but it never truly commits in that direction. Instead, it’s just hanging with Robin, while he does very little, until he answers the phone. Over and over again. For almost twenty minutes. And while that may be the point, Robin has no life, it doesn’t make it interesting to watch.
Honestly, I don’t know that even five minutes of this would be entertaining, but it’d be more of a start than what we’ve got now. On the off-chance that the film is trying to invoke in the audience the same level of ennui that Robin must be feeling then, congrats, it definitely succeeds there. If it was trying to be funny, or entertaining, I think it fails by not really going anywhere.
Visually, it’s a gritty, ugly image; a shitty webcam that Robin seems to have forgotten that he’s left on. Except he positions it in the opening, so we know he hasn’t forgotten and is, instead, showing his life to somebody out there, even if that somebody is just us.
As maybe a critical commentary on a selfish culture where we think every little thing we do is worth sharing with everyone in the world, then maybe there are points to be given to Robin’s Incoming Calls. I’m of an optimistic enough temperament that I could see the argument, but I also think this is a case where there was just too much of nothing going on.
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Posted on October 11, 2013 in Reviews by Mark Bell
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