A Top-Rated Zach Galifianakis Robot Movie Is Taking Off On Streaming

By Michileen Martin | 13 seconds ago

zach galifianakis

When it comes to film, Zach Galifianakis isn’t exactly known for the most critically-acclaimed fare. While one of his signature films — the 2009 comedy The Hangover — was generally liked by reviewers, its two follow-ups were critically panned. Not to mention that of the films in which Galifianakis appears in a lead role, just about everything gets the dreaded green splat on Rotten Tomatoes. We’d hate to blame the guy’s face for his low RT scores, but it just so happens of all his leading movie roles, the film with one of the highest percentages is one where you hear him but don’t see him. We’re talking, of course, about the 2021 sci-fi comedy Ron’s Gone Wrong, which is currently at the #7 spot of Disney+’s most watched films.

In the kind of future in which having a fully functioning robot pet is mandatory to avoid becoming a middle school pariah, Barney Pudowski — voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!) — is the only kid in his school without a B-bot. Zach Galifianakis’ Hangover co-star Ed Helms voices Barney’s dad Graham, who manages to get a damaged version of the popular robot for his son. Barney realizes right away there’s something wrong with his new B-bot — voiced by Galifianakis — but after he runs into some kids on the street and learns the robot’s glitches include allowing it to humiliate his tormenters, Barney earns a new appreciation for the robot he names Ron.

ron's gone wrong

Unfortunately, Ron’s actions don’t go without consequences. While the B-bot creator Marc — voiced by Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) — is intrigued by Ron’s ability to undermine its programming, Bubble COO Andrew Morris — voiced by Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2) — is less enthused and decides the rogue B-bot needs to be destroyed. To say too much more would be to spoil a lot. Suffice to say, Bubble’s dark secrets come to light, Ron is put in danger because of his rejection of Bubble’s programming, and everything works out in the end. Kind of.

Critics loved Zach Galifianakis’ Ron’s Gone Wrong, and audiences loved it even more, earning it an 80% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 94% audience score. As far as the critics’ scores are concerned, most of the only Galifianakis flicks in which the comedian played a significant role that got better scores than Ron’s Gone Wrong are likewise animated films. Galfianakis voiced Humpty Dumpty in 2011’s Puss in Boots (86%), Mr. Link in 2019’s Missing Link (88%), and Joker in 2017’s The LEGO Batman Movie (90%). The only non-animated film with similar billing for Galifianakis that did better were 2014’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) in which he played best friend and lawyer to Michael Keaton’s Riggan Thompson, and the 2015 documentary Queen Mimi (91%). Apparently, whether it’s a consequence of not actually seeing the comedian or not, he does better with the reviewers when they only hear him.

And the reviewers did love Ron’s Gone Wrong. For example, Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com called the sci-fi comedy, “lively and sometimes hilarious,” as well as, “a sweet story of friendship.” While Angie Han of The Hollywood Reporter wasn’t impressed with the film’s animation, she still credited it with “endearing good humor, thoughtful cultural critique and one heck of a cute robot.”

For those who get most of their entertainment online, Galifianakis may be more well known as the host of the improvised, satirical talk show Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Starting off as an online series and eventually becoming both a Comedy Central special and a Netflix movie, Between Two Ferns is the host’s take on “the sycophantic way that Hollywood machine runs” according to what he told ABC News Now. If you’ve never seen it, you’re missing out. Galifianakis almost always acts highly critical and dismissive of his guests — which have included Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, Brie Larson, Justin Bieber, President Barrack Obama, and former first lady Hillary Clinton. He often purposely mispronounces their names and makes fun of their past work, and the guests — who are in on the joke — usually fire back. We’ll give you an example below, with The Office star Steve Carell from 2010.

But if, like the critics, you prefer your Zach Galifianakis material animated, Ron’s Gone Wrong is still available for streaming on Disney+. Along with the actors already mentioned, it features the voices of Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz) and Kylie Cantrall (The Toycracker). It was co-directed by Sarah Smith (Arthur Christmas), Jean-Philippe Vine (Shaun the Sheep), and Octavio E. Rodriguez (The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants).