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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.