I, Robot (2004)

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6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking, Three Laws aspect interesting

Will Smith film, dull action

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  I, Robot

Studio:  Davis Entertainment

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  June 16, 2004

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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That’s right…I ain’t afraid of no robot!

It is 2035, and robots serve humans every need.  One person who doesn’t feel the same about robots is Del Spooner (Will Smith).  When Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell) is found dead at the U.S. Robotics headquarters, Spooner suspects a robot might have broken the Three Laws of Robotics to commit the murder.  Spooner finds himself teamed with a robot expert named Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) in trying to capture the rogue robot named Danny, but Spooner and Calvin find that Danny’s involvement in the murder might mean something more and a revolution could be in the works that would pit human against robot!

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No, Spooner…I Robot is just a short collection of stories…this is a new story!

Directed by Alex Proyas, I, Robot is a sci-fi action film that developed from a script originally called Hardwired.  The movie is credited to I, Robot by Isaac Asimov but that is a collection of short stories rather than an actual story.  It was met with mixed reviews but a solid box office return.  The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects (but lost to Spider-Man 2).

Will Smith is not my favorite star and this is a very Will Smith movie.  In addition to Will Smith headlining, you have a story with a lot of lows and very few highs.  The most disappointing thing about I, Robot is that it almost feels like it could have been a good movie with some tweaking.

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You’re experience a car accident in more ways than one

The movie should never have put so much focus on action.  I, Robot is at its best when it looks at the sci-fi concepts of the story and explores the ideas of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics (A robot may not injure a human beign or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm; a robot must obey the orders given to it by human beigns, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law; a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law).  The movie instead constantly devolves into an action film with action that isn’t very interesting and doesn’t help to really develop the story.  If it just stuck with the mystery, and the film would be good (though it would tip more into copying Blade Runner).

Will Smith is still Will Smith in the movie.  The script isn’t loaded with enough one-liners to ham it up like in Independence Day or Bad Boys, but it does still have enough to push him into the annoying factor…you combine Smith with a small role by Shia LaBeouf and you have box office poison in my book.  Smith isn’t aided by a rather bland costar in Briget Moynahan and a virtually lethargic “enemy” in Bruce Greenwood.  The saving grace in I, Robot’s cast is Alan Tudyk.

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I wish that this V.I.K.I. computer had just been that little girl from Small Wonder

Tudyk plays the rather interesting looking Sonny in the film.  Sonny was created through motion capture in the same way that Golem was created for The Lord of the Rings series.  The robots are sleek and rather lifelike in their appearance and I do think they did a great job on the effects.  The interaction with humans seem pretty real and for a movie is already ten years old, the effects have held up.

I, Robot was a disappointment because it could have been good.  I do think I’ve softened to I, Robot because the first time I saw it, I hated it…this time I just felt it was really, really average.  There have been rumors floating around about a sequel to the film.  If they changed up the formula, borrowed more of Asimov’s ideas, and cast a stronger film, it could be worth seeing…otherwise, I want the robots to rebel.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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