I, Robot (2004)
USA / English
"What will you do with yours? "In the year 2035 a techno-phobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.
A look at why we might not ever want a robot per every household ensues.
According to Isaac Asimov, the Three Laws of Robotics are:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a
human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by
human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First
Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such
protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Now you don't have to be a web designer/hilarious movie reviewer with a
Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and an MBA to realize that some
sort of interpretation of the old "rules were made to be broken" adage
is gonna take place. And that, my friends, is the nut that the story's
My friends: Um, what?
Oh, uh, sorry, I was just trying to sound cool. Anyway...
If you're the type of person who likes to prejudge and make assumptions
about movies based on trailers (unlike me, of course), then you may
initially think this movie is just all silly action. But that's not the
case. Oh, there's definitely some silly and unrealistic action.
Whenever you have Will Smith SURFING AWAY FROM AN EXPLOSION ON A FRONT
DOOR then you know there's some stuff you're just gonna have to take
with two pinches of salt and a dash of sugar, but I, Robot does a good
job of developing and revealing its story, all while mixing in the
right amount of rump cheek-kicking.
There is no denying that the special and visual effects are great, and
they are the major selling point for this movie. The car scene in the
tunnel is worth the price of admission, and the last 15 or 20 minutes
really kick things into 1969 Camaro overdrive. If you've gotta go to
the bathroom or get a refill on popcorn, then definitely do it before
these last 20 minutes. But I found myself genuinely interested in the
story. The movie manages to maintain a good amount of suspense and
tension throughout, and it throws in a couple of twists just to keep
things fresh. Are the robots as evil as they seem? Is Bruce Greenwood
the bad guy he appears to be? Why exactly does Will Smith hate robots
so much? Is Alfonso Ribeiro somewhere sucking his thumb and crying,
wondering why Will won't return his phone calls?
The acting is pretty solid throughout. In general, I like Will Smith.
But if you've seen Wild, Wild West then you know he's not immune to
starring in crap. Thankfully, that's not the case here. Will Smith
pretty much plays Will Smith, so take that for what you think it's
worth. He's basically a cop with an attitude who likes to wax sarcastic
and be all rebellious and stuff. And he has some good back-and-forths
with the ever-adorable Bridget Moynahan who, as Dr. Susan Calvin, is an
expert on robot psyches and has great lips - much better than the
over-sized bananas Angelina Jolie has plastered below her nose.
Going into the movie, I had my reservations. After all, when I first
saw the robots in the trailer, I thought they looked about as silly as
Tom Cruise with his gray hair in "Collateral." But the robot special
effects are actually well-done. I came away impressed. They look pretty
realistic (more human than Al Gore, to be honest), especially in their
mouth movements (George Lucas - take note). And Mrs. Shade made a good
point - if you're putting a robot in every home, then you probably
don't want it to look evil and menacing. The fight scenes between the
robots are quite cool without looking too fake. This is a good sign
that we may be moving away from CGI being too obvious.
I don't know if I'll add this to my DVD collection, but I definitely
want to at least rent the DVD one day, assuming that it's loaded with
cool special features. Just one question, which encompasses one of my
complaints about the movie, why do so many action movies insist on
having a scene where the hero saves an animal in peril? I DON'T WANT TO
SEE ANY MORE CATS OR DOGS BEING SAVED IN THE NICK OF TIME! I don't want
to see animals die or anything, but I'm just tired of pointless "I must
risk my life to save this animal" scenes. It's a cheap ploy to get
audiences to go "Awwwww." It works, but it makes me dry heave.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
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