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
According to the credits, the film was "Inspired by Isaac Asimov's Book"; however, there was never an Asimov "book" (i.e. novel) called 'I, Robot'. A short story called "I, Robot", about a robot called "Adam Link", was written by Earl and Otto Binder (aka "Eando" Binder) and published in the January 1939 issue of 'Amazing Stories', well before the unrelated and more well-known book 'I, Robot' (1950), a collection of short stories, by Asimov. Asimov admitted to being heavily influenced by the Binder short story. The title of Asimov's collection was changed to "I, Robot" by the publisher, against Asimov's wishes. See more »
Sonny jumps out of the window and runs off, and Spooner and Calvin appear from the building what seems to be only seconds later (or, in this future, it's normal for a gun to remain sitting on the ground in a public street for several minutes with nobody touching it, and for a steady stream of pedestrians to carefully avoid stepping in and smearing little blue stains on the ground). 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".
13 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?