Set in a future Earth (2035 A.D.) where robots are common assistants and workers for their human owners, this is the story of "robotophobic" Chicago Police Detective Del Spooner's investigation into the murder of Dr. Alfred Lanning, who works at U.S. Robotics, in which a robot, Sonny , appears to be implicated, even though that would mean the robot had violated the Three Laws of Robotics, which is apparently impossible. It seems impossible because.. if robots can break those laws, there's nothing to stop them from taking over the world, as humans have grown to become completely dependent upon their robots. Or maybe... they already have? Aiding Spooner in his investigation is a psychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin, who specializes in the psyches of robots. Written by
One of the many advertisements shown on huge outdoor flat screen TVs in the future is an advertisement mentioning the first manned mission to Mars. When Spooner is at Kalvin's house after Lanning's house is destroyed, Kalvin's personal robot is watching TV, the program he is watching shows some photos of Mars taken from that mission. See more »
Detective Spooner draws a backup pistol from an ankle holster, but when he recovers his main weapon, he holsters the backup pistol in his main holster. See more »
Instead of opening credits, the beginning of the movie features Isaac Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics: LAW I. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. LAW II. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. LAW III. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. See more »
For any fan of Isaac Asimov, this film is a total fraud.
Dr. Asimov went to great lengths to explain his motivation for writing his robot stories in the introduction to "The Rest of the Robots", an anthology published in 1968. In Dr. Asimov's words, "... there seemed only one change to be rung on this plot -- Robots were created and destroyed their creator; ... I quickly grew tired of this dull hundred-times-old tale. As a person interested in science, I resented the purely Faustian interpretation of science".
The film is totally at odds with the philosophy Dr. Asimov defended, and totally different from all the robot stories he wrote. Only a few names and the "three laws of robotics" were copied, but the central point in all his stories, that a robot could never be made to violate the three laws, was not respected. The Asimov robot stories are fun because they try to find situations were there is enough contradiction in those laws to create interesting situations.
"I, Robot", the movie, is just one more remake of that old, old, old story Isaac Asimov hated so much, it's Frankenstein again. If you insist on seeing that same story again, better get Mel Brooks' version, it's funnier.
Let's close with Asimov: "Never, never, was one of my robots to turn stupidly on his creator for no purpose but to demonstrate, for one more weary time, the crime and punishment of Faust".
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