May 9, 2017
Hot Bot (2016), a recap (part 4)
NOTE: This article is a work in progress.
Please check back soon for more installments!
Previously: Vaguely successful fashion model Cynthia Kirchner thought she got her big acting break when asked to star in a teen sex comedy, but it doesn’t seem to be working out the way she’d hoped.
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Limus needs a place to stash his sexbot. He tried hiding her in his house, only to be surprised to find that his family also lives there. So he brings her to what I initially assumed was a whole extra house.
This is not a house. Here’s a production photo that clears things up:
This is Limus’ sister’s playhouse in the backyard, complete with a loft area. Incidentally, the DIY kit runs around $6,700.00 and doesn’t include the roof. Inside, it’s fully furnished with a TV, bed, carpeting, and table and chairs. Keep in mind this movie is set in Salt Lake City in the dead of winter. So Limus’ parents are paying to run electricity and heat to a seven thousand dollar plywood box.
And while we’re on the subject, why is this movie set in winter? It’s not even the nice, bright kind of winter. It’s the one with just a little snow that turns everything grey and ugly. Why would you purposefully make your sex comedy ugly? Superbad takes place in Los Angeles. American Pie takes place in West Michigan and they still filmed it in LA. Even the worst robot movie ever made had the good sense not to take place in winter.
Limus gives Bardot some pillows and blankets. She sort of makes an attempt to have sex with him, but he hands her a walkie-talkie and leaves. Bardot, for her part, identifies Limus on her HUD as a “virgin” from a list that includes: egotistical; shy; introvert; and homosexual. Yeah, that’s pretty exhaustive. I assume the one for women reads: bitch; lover; child; mother; sinner; saint; and does not feel ashamed.
The next day, Limus goes to school as The Shield and That ’70s Rapist drive up to Benny’s store. They didn’t go as soon as they got the information the day before. I guess Anthony Anderson was busy reminding people he was on fifteen episodes of The Shield, and Danny Masterson was busy doing… other things.
In school, Limus is trying to do a science experiment while Leonard bothers him about the workings of Bardot’s vagina. The teacher asks them what they’re talking about, and in so doing, calls Leonard by his last name. Which is “Stupenski”. See, I knew that from the beginning, but I was holding on to it for maximum effect. The Polish Brothers gave one of their characters a first name that I misheard as “Linus” the entire first time I saw the movie, and called the other one Stupenski.
Back at the playhouse, Limus’ sister knocks on the door. Bardot opens it and the little girl says, “Hi. I was just in the neighborhood and would love to talk to you about Jesus. Have you considered letting the Lord inside?” Bardot had not, but happily invites her in.
And now I’m just concerned about the mental health of everybody. First of all, why is the little girl knocking on the door of her own playhouse? Why isn’t she surprised to find a grown woman in there? Why does Bardot answer the door? Oh no… Oh, God… Why is a sexbot anywhere near a nine-year-old?
Limus and Leonard have been sent to the principal’s office. He’s shredding Bardot’s entire three thousand page instruction manual. I’m not sure why the principal doesn’t have any follow-up questions about it, such as why two teenagers have detailed plans for a working android. Also, you’d think losing the instructions for the robot would pay off somehow. It doesn’t, but I really don’t care. I’m just very, very scared for that little girl.
Luckily, we go back to the playhouse, where Bardot and Limus’ sister are reading the Bible. They’re just quietly discussing the Bible, fully clothed. I have never been so relieved in my life. I once had to be rescued from a hurricane by a Coast Guard Cutter, and this is more of a relief than that.
We cut back to the sex shop. The feds (maybe?) see Benny walking into the store and follow him. They grab him and demand he turn over the robot. Benny claims not to know what they’re talking about. They tell him that between the hardware and software, he has close to $300,000 of theirs. But earlier, Sen. Biter specifically said Bardot cost $500,000. Did her price fall by 40% in a day? Androids must depreciate like Chevy Impalas. Danny Masterson then threatens to choke Benny to death with a dildo, and it’s about 50/50 whether he’s in character or not.
Bardot and Limus’ sister have moved on to the board game Life when Leonard and Limus come bursting through the tiny door. Bardot is angry (maybe?). She tells Limus, “You and I have to have a serious discussion about our relationship.” Limus pulls his sister outside, giving Leonard his first chance to be alone with the robot who, let me remind you, was designed solely for the purpose of having sex.
Bardot tells Leonard that “Sex is sacred,” and that “Fornication is not in the Game of Life.” First of all, fornication absolutely is in the Game of Life.
But mostly, my problem is this: It’s impossible to read the Bible on its own and extract anything but complete confusion about sex. The Old Testament has just so much sex in it. A guy actually gets murdered by God for not boning his sister-in-law hard enough. And the New Testament didn’t exactly clear things up. It took Christian theologians four hundred years to retcon that thing. Bardot, however, has learned modern Christian theology in an afternoon from a nine-year-old and a book that, at best, can’t decide whether humans were created before or after trees.
Leonard and Limus switch places. While Leonard is outside threatening Limus’ sister, Limus tries to talk to Bardot. She, however, no longer believes in sex outside of the sacred bond of marriage. If Limus likes her, she says, then he “should have put a ring on it.” Wa-ah-oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
Back at the store, Biter’s goons are physically assaulting Benny with a tremendous, motorized dildo. He eventually give them Limus’ name.
Limus, in the meantime, has taken Leonard and Bardot to an arcade. He’s playing games in an effort to win enough tickets to buy a toy ring. Target has dozens for about ten dollars each. Is he expecting to spend less than ten dollars? Whatever his misunderstandings about Dave and Buster’s business model, he’s sure that if he gives her a ring, Bardot will have sex with him.
Also, they brought the robot to an arcade. They’re supposed to be keeping her a secret and she’s just standing there while they play games and order food. In any case, this gives her an opportunity to run into Rodney, the jerk who bothered Limus at the drive-thru in the beginning.
Rodney hits on Bardot hard while she quotes Corinthians at him in her clearly synthesized voice. This doesn’t clue him in on the fact that she’s a robot. His guess, instead, is that she’s Limus and Leonard’s babysitter. Before he leaves, he invites Bardot to a party at his house and then gives her his card. He, a high school student, has a business card. And what a card it is!
By the way, Rodney was at the arcade with his girlfriend. He was giving out cards while she was at the concession stand. And somewhere in all that lunacy, Limus declared that he was in love with Bardot.
Leonard has pretty much relegated himself to just being the sidekick. From this point on, he’s content to consider Bardot as belonging to Limus, and he doesn’t really bother her. I have no idea why. I have no idea why anything happens in this movie. Why does a middle class family have a second house for their daughter? Why does a robot care about a book that spends an entire chapter listing birds you can’t eat?
The boys are driving home with Bardot, and I realize I don’t know how the whole ring side-quest turned out. Benny calls them to say that Bardot’s owners are looking for her. Leonard replies, “No one’s after Bardot.” Meaning he thinks an android that he found in the woods—with an instruction manual and an ability to take credit cards—doesn’t have an owner.
Just then, Biter’s guys nearly t-bone them with their SUV. This sets off a car chase. Everybody is yelling and getting thrown around. Cynthia Kirchner, having studied acting for years in New York and LA, is doing her best to act like a robot.
At some point, Leonard yells that he could really use some directions. Bardot answers, “I thought you’d never ask.” Then she starts giving him directions like she’s Waze. They end up doing that thing where they cross train tracks and get away while the goons get stuck waiting for the train to pass.
In the next scene, it’s night at the Colonial Village Motel, which may or may not be a real place in Salt Lake City. What I do know is that something called “Colonial Village Motel” has one Yelp review which reads, in part, “Don’t stay here unless you’re on meth!!!!!!!” So, rule me 100% in.
Benny has gotten them a room. Limus tells Bardot she has to stay here for the night. But she has questions: Why were the men chasing her? What do they want? I agree that these are very reasonable questions. They’re the kind of questions I might have asked before, you know, risking everybody’s lives at a railroad crossing.
Limus and Leonard leave because they’re children and they have to be home for supper. They have a long argument with Benny as to whether he can have sex with the, um, sexbot. Limus and Leonard threaten him for a while. Then they all give each other the finger and go their separate ways.
The next shot is very out of character for the movie. Benny and Bardot are almost silhouetted against a smokey backlight.
Benny says, “I’m going to ask you a series of questions. Just relax and answer them as simply as you can.”
Bardot asks, as any replicant would, “Do you mind if I smoke?” She then pulls out a cigarette case and smokes. That’s a thing that happens in this movie. The robot smokes.
Where the hell did she get the cigarettes? The only place she’s been is an arcade. What is Benny testing for? He already knows she’s a robot. And what is he going to ask her? In all of Blade Runner, we only heard eight questions and we have no idea what the right answers were. Also, what the hell was the deal with Blade Runner 2049?
Next week: Two characters in the movie finally kiss, and it’s absolutely not the two you think.