D.A.R.Y.L. combines great escapism for children (in recognizable 1980s Top Gun /War Games fashion) with rather interesting observations and reflections on the concept of artificial intelligence and human existentialism. The film has a calculated but warm and authentic use of emotion, and works as an unconcealed, almost campaigning proclamation for traditional family values. Luckily, most of us all abide to the same codex, and D.A.R.Y.L.'s confidence and apparent wholesomeness is a welcomed verification in this matter. The paranoia and pessimism in the film's depiction of scientific progress, and how modern leaders will exploit it more than what scientists can accomplish with it, is a typical artistic sentiment from mid- to late 20th century. That being said, writers David Ambrose and Allan Scott are not really that interested in this discussion; they just want to fantasize about how much cool stuff their protagonist can do. The script is strangely unambitious on a characterological level, but the craftmanship is excellent, and director Simon Wincer has full control over the viewer's pathos. Child star Barret Oliver is perfectly cast in the title role, whereas Josef Sommer and Michael KcKean give heartfelt performances as the kid's male role models.