Barney is an outsider. His family fled an Eastern European dictatorship. His grandmother is old country and lng ago set his friends on fire at a party. His dad works to sell novelties no one wants. THey are barely getting by. He is the only one in school to not to have a robot pal. In a desperate hope to make him feel better Barney's grandmother and father buy a robot, Ron off the back of a truck. He doesn't work right and while he can do amazing things the CEO of the manufacturer wants Ron gone.
I didn't see RON'S GONE WRONG like everyone else.Having always been on the outside and not one of the cool kids I related to Barney way too much. It made the film painful to watch since what I was seeing was bits of my life- or at least the emotion I felt growing up - dredged up. Give the film points for getting the emotion right. But damn it messed me up.
An aside here. If you are not sure what the hell this film is blame Disney. Inherited in the Fox deal, the film's release date was moved, with the result the Happy Meal Toys came and went months before the film came out. Disney then dumped it into theaters with no fanfare before it ended up on Disney + and no HBO because Fox signed a contract long ago.
I'm all over the place about this film. I love that the film is ballsy enough to dwell in darkness. I love that it deals with poop jokes, politics, hatred for Google/Apple, that it pisses on social media, cellphones and fake internet friends and best of all has a mostly down beat ending until the cheat final shot. How the hell did this get made when the villain is effectively Steve Jobs? Actually I could ask this about lots of things becase the film is beating the shit out of current society with a large mallet.
Also give the film bonus points for being about the characters. These aren't you typical movie kids these are damaged kids who are walking wounded. I mean the poopgirl thing scars her. We care about the characters becase they are fully realized. Ron also gives us an emotional battering when he saves Barney and then decides to save everyone at the end. There are heavy costs here and we feel for them because we have been given enough to truly care about the characters.
What I don't like is that the film also feels like it was messed with by the studio since with all the things that are atypical there are lots of typical Hollywood jokes and turns that infer a script doctor coming in. The gee whiz everything is okay and we're all friends turn for example. Another is the final shot infering that maybe Ron isn't gone.
That said I'm in awe that this film exists. This shouldn't have come from any Hollywood studio in the current bean cunter decided creation of properties they can sell. They want there kids films to be friendly. I say this as someone who was on the Disney list for press until I wrote a review that said that one of their family films, THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN was about death (I never got another invite for anything again). This film should have been pulled apart by Disney and redone. That it exists in this form is a case for celebration.
Despitw the flaws, RON'S GONE WRONG is worth a look. And look for it to be considered a grand classic in 10 or 15 years as the kids of today disover it on cable and streaming since it tries to show life as it is.