I, Robot

"Terrible"

I, Robot Review


In turning Isaac Asimov's groundbreaking, intellectually and morally challenging series of stories entitled "I, Robot" into a summer blockbuster, director Alex Proyas ("Dark City," "The Crow") has stripped it of even the smallest hint of intelligence or originality. Instead the movie offers only superstar Will Smith as a wisecracking, stunt-driving, guns-a-blazin', future-cop action-hero cliché -- who bears no resemblance to anything in Asimov's book (although there may have been a character with the same name).

Detective Del Spooner may live amid self-driving cars and abundant automatons in the year 2035 (which looks as if it was created on leftover "Minority Report" and "A.I." sets), but he's a shopworn 20th century anachronism -- a newly divorced, rebellious cop (complete with a butt-chewing lieutenant to take away his badge) who has a theory no one believes.

See, Spoon (gotta have a nickname) thinks a robot committed a murder -- throwing his corporate-scientist creator out a skyscraper window. But of course everyone else is downright stubborn about the fact that this simply cannot be. Robots made by the monopolistic U.S. Robotics are hard-wired with three base rules that supposedly make it impossible for them to harm a human being. That safety protocol is why they've become prevalent in homes and menial jobs around the world. (Naturally, no mention is made of the job losses this must have caused.)

Asimov's book consists of stories in which these rules contradict each other, leading to independent thought and evolution. (They are arguably the basis of every subsequent evolving-robot character in the sci-fi genre.)

This movie, however, is nothing but one big chase scene in which Smith jumps motorcycles in "Matrix"-style slow-mo while fancy-firing his futuristic hand-cannons to save The Girl (sexy U.S.R. robo-psychologist Bridget Moynahan) and The Kid (two-scene tag-a-long Shia LaBeouf) from characters involved in The Giant Conspiracy to Take Over the World.

Yeah, that's right. It plays as if robots even wrote the script -- and stupid robots at that.

But human stupidity runs rampant as well. The picture's shallow priorities are underscored by Smith's dialogue being mostly catch phrases and one-liners, by gratuitous shower scenes (Smith showing off his extra-buff body) and by obscene product placement ("Converse All-Stars, vintage 2004!").

Pivotal points in the story don't make a scrap of sense (like why would thousands of outdated robots be put in storage without being deactivated, and why would U.S.R. hold a big news conference announcing that fact?), and the climax depends on the ridiculous contrivance that parts of the high-security U.S. Robotics headquarters have no security whatsoever.

In fact, the robots themselves are the only element of "I, Robot" that isn't a slap in the face of Asimov (whose book is given only a "suggested by" credit) and of anyone who expects more from a movie than the next big computer-animated stunt.

Impressive, unsettling CGI creations with translucent rubberized skin, these new android models with a permanent uplink to U.S.R. -- the ones that are perceived as a threat by Detective Spooner -- are so perfectly integrated into every scene that it never once crossed my mind that I was watching a special effect.

Of course, that might have been because I was too busy thinking: Who in Hollywood do I have to kill to put an end to sacrilegious adaptations and brain-dead $100-million rubbish? And could I get a robot to do it for me?



I, Robot

Facts and Figures

Run time: 115 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th July 2004

Box Office Worldwide: $347.2M

Budget: $120M

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Mediastream Vierte Film GmbH & Co. Vermarktungs KG, Davis Entertainment, Laurence Mark Productions, Overbrook Entertainment, Canlaws Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Del Spooner, as Susan Calvin, as Sonny, as Dr. Alfred Lanning, as Lawrence Robertson, as Farber, as Lt. John Bergin, as Baldez, Peter Shinkoda as Chin, as Chin, David Haysom as NS4 Robot and NS5 Robot, as NS4 Robot and NS5 Robot, Adrian Ricard as Granny, Fiona Hogan as V.I.K.I., as Asthmatic Woman, Craig March as Detective

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.