Still Not Quite Human (1992) — Android goes on a rescue mission to save his dad

“Where’d you learn how to do that?” “Boy Scouts?”

Justin’s rating: 100112

Justin’s review: Long before streaming services, the Disney Channel felt that same sort of pressure to keep producing family-friendly content to fill up the schedule. So why not go back to the Not Quite Human well one more time, even as its star Jay Underwood was starting to age out of his youthful state?

At a robotics convention, Dr. Carson (Alan Thicke) is kidnapped by rivals before successfully unveiling his android creation — a not quite teenage son named Chip (Underwood). The bad guys then replace Carson with a clone android because that plan sounded good in their head instead of the stupidest thing ever.

That kind of backfires when Chip reprograms their android and names it Bonus (because it’s a bonus dad). The two then set off on a rescue mission to find the real Carson. He also picks up a couple of unlikely allies: a thief named Kyle (Adam Philipson) and a pocked-sized cop named Kate (Rosa Morgan).

Alas, Robin Lively is nowhere to be seen this time around, leaving Chip without the benefit of his adopted sister. Also missing is Roberta and Carson’s girlfriend, which is a bit of a bummer considering that there is an effort to uphold continuity.

While it is a hoot AND a nanny to see Alan Thicke handling two roles (he’s more than capable of doing so), Still Not Quite Human doesn’t venture too far outside of its safe, pulpy boundaries. Chip is going to be adorably noble, he’s going to use a wide range of gadgets and special abilities, and he’s not going to be found out by the world at large.

There’s something to be said for how much the bad guys mess with Dr. Carson in captivity, using fake food, multiple cells, and duplicate androids to try to wear him down into complacency.

The movie is perhaps more slapsticky than its previous installments, although that sort of thing is hard to judge. That, I can tolerate. What I can’t is boredom, which started to settle in about a half-hour into this 90-minute film. It wasn’t as amusing or outright charming as Not Quite Human 2, which I will now hold as the gold standard for this series.

Didja notice?

  • John Debney scored this
  • High-fiving an android will result in a hole in your floor for some reason
  • Androids and metal detectors don’t mesh
  • This robotics convention has the worst bots ever
  • That short female cop is a total cutie
  • Swankiest prison cell ever
  • The bad guy has a lot of disposable androids
  • Release the dogs!

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