I, Robot

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I, Robot
Review (7/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

I, Robot takes us to Chicago in the year 2035. The world is on the verge of witnessing the most widespread distribution of robots in the history of mankind. There will be one robot for every five human beings. The mass distribution is being handled by U.S. Robotics and its rather indifferent CEO, Lawrence Robertson (Bruce Greenwood). But, disaster strikes when one of their head scientists seemingly commits suicide for no apparent reason. The investigating officer, Del Spooner (Will Smith), seems to be the only person who is suspicious of the apparent suicide. His main suspect? An NS-5 robot named Sonny who seems much more advanced when compared to his other artificial counterparts. Unfortunately, only Spooner sees the scientist's death as anything but your average, everyday suicide. Everybody but Spooner refuses to believe that a robot would ever harm a human being. All robots are programmed with what is called "The Three Laws of Robotics" and the first, and most important law, is that a robot cannot hurt a human being or allow a human being to come to harm. These laws are programmed into each and every robot and it is therefore impossible that Sonny, or any other robot for that matter, had anything to do with the suspicious death. So on the eve of the biggest distribution of robots in the history of the world, we have a dubious suicide, a suspect robot, an apprehensive detective and a gorgeous robot psychologist (played by Bridget Moynahan) who we get to see almost but not quite naked in the shower. What follows is a science-fiction/murder-mystery/thriller that ends up being a slightly above average movie with some great CGI.

Although I found myself moderately entertained throughout the screening of I, Robot, this movie is far from perfect and falls short of being great. I did find the CGI work, particularly the robots in the movie, to be oustanding. All the robots, and specifically Sonny, were simply amazing and the filmmakers should be commended for that outstanding work. And seeing their interpretation of the world in the year 2035 was also quite interesting ($40 for steak and eggs - yikes!). There were a handful of jokes that could have added a few laughs that were never told and having a guy like Will Smith to deliver them, well, I think there were a few missed opportunities. Not that I wanted to be sitting in the theatre rolling in the aisles with laughter but I don't mind the odd joke here and there, at appropriate moments.

The highlights of I, Robot also include a rather kick-ass car chase scene and a grand finale battle that was fun but predictable.

The story, on the other hand, has some holes. The movie does its best to be dramatic but I never felt too moved by any of the characters or the story. There are a few neat little twists and turns that I found fairly interesting. However, there were times the movie had a dark feeling to it. There were times it generated a few chuckles from the crowd. There were characters who seemed wasted and misplaced in the movie (the kid played by Shia Laboeuf comes to mind - still haven't figured out that one). In fact, besides Smith's character and the beautiful Moynahan, nobody else in the movie really makes an impact, or is even give a chance to make an impact. Sonny is the only robot in the movie that is remotely interesting and that was a bit of a disappointment. Although Will Smith's character was dark and brooding at times and comical and smiley at other times, I would have liked to have seen a bit more consistency in his character. In fact, I would have preferred a little bit more comedy from the role instead of the odd one-liner here and there that were not even funny every single time.

In the end, I, Robot is a science-fiction movie that looks good but falls short of being great. The short-comings can be attributed to a good (but far from great) story, some inconsistencies and holes and an ending that fails to deliver the impact that it wants to deliver. I will say that I did enjoy seeing I, Robot and it is definitely worth at least a single-viewing in the theatre but, besides its outstanding CGI work, I don't see I, Robot leaving its mark in the annals of movie history. A good movie? I'll give it that, but just barely. A great movie? Not this time, folks.

Keyword : Eli, Fairly, Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Gorgeous, Bruce Greenwood, You, A Di, Ant, Ate, Beautiful, Chicago, EMI, Good, Haven, Here, Hurt, I Do, Kick-Ass, Leaving, Look, Move, Naked, Out, Red, Rent, Robots, Screen, SIS, Spread, Take, Up, Wanted, Will, Dub, FILM, Grand, Robot, Bi, M., Eren, Tere

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