I think not.
D.A.R.Y.L. is technological nonsense, but it's a hell of a lot of fun on its road to feelin' good. Barret Oliver (long since vanished from the cinema scene) plays a young boy dropped off in the woods under mysterious circumstances. He's partially amnesiac, and after being discovered and taking up residence with a foster family, he soon reveals he's got amazing physical and (especially) mental powers. Fast forward to his inevitable pick-up by a clinically cold couple, who reveal the truth: Daryl isn't Daryl, he's D.A.R.Y.L., Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform. (This isn't a spoiler. It says so on the front of the DVD.) Army isn't happy that a robot kid has developed emotions, scientists can't cope with terminating a living being... escape and chase ensues.
Whew! The technology of D.A.R.Y.L. is absurd yet strangely compelling. But it's Daryl's interpersonal relationships that make it such a cotton candy winner. Daryl's little friend Turtle (Danny Corkill, who would later become infamous as the title character of Problem Child) gets the pair into trouble, teaches him a bit about the birds and the bees, and brings out his humanity. Daryl's relationship with his foster parents (especially Michael McKean in a very rare "straight" role) adds the necessary family element. Hell, I wished McKean was my dad after watching this movie.
Director Simon Wincer (Free Willy) does nice work blending technology, action, and family-friendly feel-goodness. Too bad the DVD is missing any kind of extras at all. Namely, I just want to know where I can adopt my own robot kid that will wash his own dishes.
Run time: 99 mins
In Theaters: Friday 14th June 1985
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, World Film Services
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 7
IMDB: 6.1 / 10
Director: Simon Wincer
Producer: John Heyman
Starring: Mary Beth Hurt as Joyce Richardson, Michael McKean as Andy Richardson, Barret Oliver as Daryl, Amy Linker as Sherie Lee Fox, Danny Corkill as Turtle, Colleen Camp as Elaine Fox, Josef Sommer as Dr. Jeffrey Stewart, Kathryn Walker as Dr. Ellen Lamb