Synopsis: A recently orphaned 15-year old who has moved to a small town to live with her Uncle befriends a robotic canine with super strength, x-ray vision and the ability to talk. Over time the pair take on bullies, kidnappers, politics, romance and the world.
Review: I first heard about A.R.C.H.I.E. in late 2015 when I interviewed actor, writer and director Robin Dunne who is, of course, best known for his work on Syfy Channel’s ‘Sanctuary’. After seeing the trailer and having got some insight about the film and the fact that Michael J. Fox does the voice of the dog. I was sold.
Unfortunately, this wonderfully fun film has not had a UK release. I was only able to get my copy via Amazon Marketplace where I picked up a region 1 DVD version, which arrived at my door yesterday morning.
Written and directed by Robin Dunne A.R.C.H.I.E. is a fun science fiction family movie which tackles themes of bullying, loss, and friendship with a good mix of sensitivity and humor.
Michael J. Fox does a great job of voicing A.R.C.H.I.E. who kids will absolutely fall in love with. Adults too.
The film basically follows A.R.C.H.I.E. and 15-year old Isabelle as they put the world to rights and get into all sorts of trouble along the way. Robin Dunne plays the role of Paul who is Isabelle’s Uncle and the towns Mayor.
Much the story is focused around Isabelle trying to fit into a new town and A.R.C.H.I.E. doing his best to help her do so without standing out too much. Unfortunately, the crook that stoke A.R.C.H.I.E. from the robotics lab where he was created is looking to get the dog back. Added to that A.R.C.H.I.E’s creator Brook is also looking for him. So there’s a lot going on.
The film’s humor is wonderful and rather childish, but I guarantee you will have a few belly laughs. One of my favorite moments is when Isabelle takes A.R.C.H.I.E. to the vet for an examination. Then, of course, there is the farting powder in the chili gag.
The acting in this film is nicely done. Michael J. Fox does some incredible voice work in the principal role while Sarah Desjardins puts in a very mature and sensitive performance as Isabelle. Robin Dunne is also pretty solid as Paul who is a rather modest type of character that wants to do the right thing. I enjoyed the introductory scene for Paul and Isabelle where he cracks a joke about expensive toilet roll, which comes off like an Uncle awkwardly trying his best to get to know his niece. Its a cute and well executed scene.
Also of note is Farrah Aviva who is wonderful as the films main villain Veronica Myles.
Overall. A.R.C.H.I.E. is a fun ride that kids of all ages including grown-up ones like me will enjoy. The writing is solid in creating a fun world and sympathetic and relatable characters. You can get a copy of A.R.C.H.I.E. the same way I did if you have a multi-regional DVD player. As yet though it is not out in the UK and it has not been for lack of me trying to find. Perhaps the pending release of A.R.C.H.I.E. 2 in Canada and the US will change that because I really think the younger UK audience would lap this one up.
- Incidental Music9.5