Skip to content

Robot Jox (1989) Review

Robot Jox is a 1989 American independent science fiction film directed by Stuart Gordon and starring Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, Paul Koslo, and Michael Alldredge. The film is set in the future where two giant nations, the western Market World Alliance and the eastern Soviet Union-style New Soviet Republic, battle for supremacy using giant robots called Robot Jox. The film follows the story of Achilles, a pilot for the Market World Alliance, as he is forced to battle against the best pilot of the New Soviet Republic, Alexander.

The film is a mix of genres, including science fiction, action, and comedy. The action is well-done and the comedy is effective. The acting is good, especially by Gary Graham and Anne-Marie Johnson. The film is exciting and well-made.

Another 80’s sci-fi classic we have here. In it’s day there really was no other movie of this ilk; large, humongous mech’s battling it out on a barren landscape utilizing the latest tech at their disposal. It’s the stuff made of WIN and it genuinely was a spectacle to behold. In fact i believe this movie was so expensive to make it’s pretty much the reason why the epic Empire Pictures went under (DOH). Such is life.

Now how does Robot Jox fare in today’s world, a place where Michael Bay runs amok Transformer stylie, destroying every living thing with the most cutting edge CGI (that’s in his spare time of course)? Well as you may well imagine the visuals don’t look as impressive as they did back in the day. It deploys good old fashioned stop ‘n go motion which looks very quaint by modern standards but regardless the movie still manages to look OK, even if nothing startling.

The movie’s storyline is a product of it’s time also, coming out at the tail end of the cold war, America’s main enemy of the day being the old Soviet Union. It’s not difficult to imagine America (or Russia) being able to field colossal robot’s to sort out their problems, though i’m not sure the Taliban would fare so well but hey ho.

Gary Graham puts in a solid performance as Achilles, the main ‘good guy’ of the flick and conveys his characters emotional arc with as much subtlety as you could ask for in such a movie. Without a doubt though the persona of the movie is the devious and downright diabolical Alexander played by Paul Koslo. He’s one character i just love to hate. Which i do believe is intentional, so full kudos to Paul and the scriptwriters in this regard.

If giant robots strutting it out in combat sounds like your kettle of fish then you simply must watch Robot Jox, this to me is the ultimate mech movie far and above Transformers. Recommended without reserve!

The film is set in the future, but the future is not well-defined. This is a minor flaw, but it does not detract from the film.

The film is an enjoyable science fiction action comedy. It is well-made and exciting. It is worth watching.


In the future, the world is divided into giant nation-states that wage war by proxy, using giant robots called “jox” to do battle in arenas. The film follows the story of Achilles, a jox pilot for the nation of Athena, as he is forced to do battle against pilots from other nations.

Achilles is a skilled jox pilot, but he has a personal vendetta against the pilots of the nation of Sparta, who killed his family in a previous war. When Achilles is chosen to represent Athena in a televised jox battle against a Sparta pilot, he knows that he must win at any cost.

The battle is fierce, and Achilles ultimately emerges victorious. However, the victory is bittersweet, as he is injured in the process. As he is recovering in the hospital, he is visited by the pilot he defeated, who congratulates him on his victory.

Achilles is soon called back into action when Athena and Sparta go to war again. This time, Achilles is pitted against a new Sparta pilot, who is even more skilled than the last. The battle is even more intense, but once again Achilles emerges victorious.

With the war finally over, Achilles retires from jox piloting and returns to a life of peace.

Movie Details

Director: Stuart Gordon
Writer: Joe Haldeman
Actors: Gary Graham, Anne-Marie Johnson, Paul Koslo
Release Year: 1989