I Robot 2004 Movie Scene Will Smith as Del Spooner holding a gun pointed at a robot

I, Robot [2004]

Considering all the popularity and craziness surrounding AI and robots at this moment, I thought it was a good idea to remind you of this movie. I, Robot is an action science fiction movie loosely based on Isaac Asimov’s short story collection of the same name. Just to be perfectly clear, Jeff Vintar’s original script had nothing to do with Asimov’s masterpiece. It was a stand-alone story in the vein of Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries. In that sense, you might say it’s more similar to another big early 2000s science fiction action movie, Minority Report

Greedy studios forced the decision to tie in the story to Asimov to gain more recognition and thus more profits. So, the script was altered to include his three laws, and a couple of characters were changed. They also pushed the director to the brink of insanity. With that out of the way, let’s see what do we have here. And what that is is an entertaining and visually appealing movie you’re going to forget about in a week. The plot is just engaging enough to keep your attention despite all the annoying cliches. Sometimes this can be a good thing as it requires zero brain effort from the viewer. However, I was expecting something more.

Visionary director Alex Proyas (Dark City) actually did wonders when you consider the quality of the script. The worldbuilding on the other hand was excellent. I, Robot offers a vision of a future where robots take over all the menial tasks from humans. Some think this is wrong and can lead to an apocalypse. And one of them is a cop Spooner played by incredibly muscular Will Smith. The man looks like he spent the last year just lifting weights. I guess he was trying to go for a different vibe since his character is quite similar to the one he plays in Men in Black.

It is the year of our lord Satan 2035 and the world looks much different than it used to. Robots are now everywhere doing all the jobs humans don’t want to do. Something that detective Spooner doesn’t like one bit. He doesn’t trust them despite their three laws of robotics functioning perfectly. However, Spooner is going to have to put all that aside because there’s been a murder in the city of Chicago. Dr. Alfred Lanning, co-founder of U.S. Robotics, the biggest manufacturer of robots in the world is dead. He apparently jumped from a window but not before asking Spooner to investigate his death. And so the search for answers begins.

While other movies set in the future usually shy away from these big scenes showing you how the city looks, I, Robot revels in them. It’s eager to show just how much the technology has advanced and that CGI can look believable now. Although some of the scenes did look a bit fake. This is compensated by a couple of highly effective jokes. Like the one where the robot punches the windshield of a car and says you’re experiencing an accident. Underneath all the nifty visuals and robotic concepts is a predictable story with a predictable message. Everybody trusts robots, but one cop doesn’t, and robots turn out to be untrustworthy. Gee whiz, who would’ve thunk it?

So, I think you should approach I, Robot as any other futuristic actioner. If, however, you’re just a casual sci-fi fan, I’m sure that the movie is going to be much more impactful for you. Maybe it will push you to check out more emotional Bicentennial Man, a movie actually based on one of Isaac Asimov’s stories. If you’re looking for something more action-oriented take a look at 2014’s RoboCop. And if it is robots ye seek, ye shall find them in another movie from the same year, Automata

Director: Alex Proyas

Writers: Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman, Isaac Asimov

Cast: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, Alan Tudyk, James Cromwell, Chi McBride

Fun Facts: The car Will Smith’s character in the movie I, Robot drives is a Audi RSQ, a concept car specifically designed for this movie.

Rating:

IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0343818/

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