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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.