Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek from Washington, D.C. to New York City to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.
In 2035, techno-phobic homicide detective Del Spooner of the Chicago PD heads the investigation of the apparent suicide of leading robotics scientist, Dr. Alfred Lanning. Unconvinced of the motive, Spooner's investigation into Lanning's death reveals a trail of secrets and agendas within the USR (United States Robotics) corporation and suspicions of murder. Little does he know that his investigation would lead to uncovering a larger threat to humanity.Written by
The early Vintar drafts of I, Robot feature a Del Spooner who is truly suffering from technophobia. His uncontrollable shaking hand was, for many people, the key image of the story. This version of the script featured sequences in which Spooner would be chased and attacked by robots on the street, only to wake up in a hospital, told that he was suffering from a panic attack - a danger to himself and others - and the robots had no choice but to subdue him for his own safety. In this way, the audience was never sure if Spooner was onto something, or if his mental state was truly disintegrating. Likewise, the ending of the original script revealed the killer to be Hector, a supercomputer with a yellow smiley face, who committed the murder and wanted Sonny to take the fall in order to save the future of Mankind. Thus when Spooner lets Sonny go free at the end, though this may be the right thing to do, Spooner knows he may in fact be condemning the human race to extinction. His hand still trembles and his robophobia is worse than ever. Such complex story elements were not allowed to remain after Will Smith signed on because, to Twentieth Century Fox's way of thinking, Will Smith always had to be right and, in the end, he had to clearly and simply save the world. Thus some of the best scenes in the script were removed and replaced with action beats, such as a house falling on Will Smith. Instead of letting Sonny the robot go and hiding his still-trembling hand, in the finished film Spooner just smiles big and winks. See more »
There's one law that was broken before the NS5 robots were invented and put on the market. It says that a robot cannot harm a human being. Well one of them did. During the flashbacks throughout the movie, Spooner has gotten into a multi-car accident and falls into a body of water. A NS4 robot saw the crash scene and so it went in to save him. It says "You're in danger!" But it doesn't think how to medically get him out. It just quickly gets Spooner out of the car by ripping his arm off and part of his chest. With an injury like that it could have lead to shock, paralysis, infection, and possibly death. 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 »
Post-converted to 3D for Blu-Ray release in 2012. See more »
When I was growing up, one of my favourite authors was Isaac Asimov. I loved his books and his ideas about robots. The man was a genius in the way he wrote, he invented the three laws of Robotics, as the very beginning of the movie tells us, they are: 1) A robot can never harm a human. 2) A robot must obey all human orders unless it conflicts with the first law. 3) A robot must protect itself unless it conflicts with the first two laws.
Because of this and because of the fact that I knew Will Smith was the leading actor in this movie I went into this movie with lowered expectations. I expected to see a corny movie full of explosions and killer robots.
I did get that, or at least the explosions part, but imagine my surprise when the movie ended up exceeding my expectations and more. Even though during the ending credits it says that the movie was suggested by the books by Isaac Asimov most of the movie seemed to play quite well with Isaac Asimov's ideas about robots. The movie played with concepts that Isaac Asimov played with, if the three laws can be made, they can be broken. And it was an Asimov-ish "whodunit" as well.
Will Smith managed to pull off a stunning performance as "Del Spooner", a Chicago detective that is suspicious of robots and is against technology. His acting is much more like his acting in "Enemy of the State" than his performances in his other two Science Fiction flicks, "Independence Day" and "Men in Black". He is a believable character, one that you end up sympathising with as you learn why, exactly, he hates robots so much.
A highly critiqued point usually comes from the fans of the book in that Bridget Moynahan plays Susan Calvin. It is true that Moynahan as Calvin is much younger than the Isaac Asimov version, but beyond that I found her to be a pleasant surprise as well. She plays her persona very well, delivering a wooden, robot-like performance. She is obvious in the fact that she likes robots much more than humans, and her dislike of Spooner is amusing. Over the course of the movie she thaws a little, but not an incredible lot. I find her to be a believable character.
The pure stroke of genius in this movie is the robot, Sonny, who at first reminds one of Data from Star Trek. His character evolves over the course of the story, and Alex Proyas does a good job at keeping us guessing at whether the emotional robot is a "good guy" or not.
This movie, which I've now seen twice, has been raked over the coals so to speak in the realm of artistic licence, but I felt that Isaac Asimov, if he were here, would have been rather pleased with this movie. The only two points of conflict, perhaps, would be the amount of violence against actual robots in the story (he was never that violent in his short stories/books) and the very typical Hollywood blow'emup climax, which, yes, smacked heavily of Terminator for a while there. The ending, I felt, repaired and wrapped up nicely, making up for whatever excessive action went on before it.
Two notes about the cinematography in this movie, first of all, the Matrix scene was not necessary. A character was being chased and did a Trinity pause in mid-air pose, which pulled me out of the movie for a couple seconds. Luckily it wasn't too hard to get back into the movie. Second note was something that I felt was very innovative on the part of Alex Proyas, which was the "camera moving with moving object" shots. I noticed at least three of them in the movie. Very nice film work there. I'm sure it will get horribly overdone in the next few years, but for now it is nice. The CGI also gets honourable mention for making the robots meld so well with their surroundings. Finally CGI has reached a point where they don't seem fake, even for a moment.
In regards to nudity in the movie... I've read a couple of reviews which notice the Moynahan nude in fogged up shower scene, and forget to notice the Will Smith completely nude with no fog shower scene. I must say, as a female viewer it is nice to get the generous end of the stick when it comes to seeing something as, dare I say appealing? as Will Smith's very nicely developed body.
Lastly and in a point that has nothing to do with the movie and more to do with questions brought up by it-- It took until a day later and thinking about the movie some more that I realized that "I, Robot" was also very socially different. As in two of the main characters, including the hero are black males, one woman, and one (male) robot. I didn't find this odd at all in watching it, perhaps because Will Smith is such a recognisable character, but after thinking about it, I felt that this is a very positive sign. It shows, to me, that society is changing. I feel that I wouldn't have been able to see that, even 10-15 years ago and thought nothing of it. I've noticed this before though... that the most gender/social equal views seem to come from science fiction in our media... it is interesting.
Now, of course the movie does bring up some ethical questions like if it's all right to make a servant/slave class out of robots, etc., but all in all I really liked this movie. Any movie that makes you think is a good movie, any movie that gives you fun, drama, action, mystery, and makes you think is a great movie. Thank goodness I, Robot is all of the above.
319 of 432 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this