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 »
When Spooner and Calvin are looking for Sonny at the warehouse, Calvin checks the computer, which says that there are 1001 robots present in the room. This is incorrect. There are 31 lines of robots from front to back. From left to right, there are more than 37 columns. Only 37 columns can be positively counted, but there are definitely more, as they can be seen as the camera pans. This means there are at least 1147 robots in the room, not 1001. See more »
A look at why we might not ever want a robot per every household ensues.
According to Isaac Asimov, the Three Laws of Robotics are:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Now you don't have to be a web designer/hilarious movie reviewer with a Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and an MBA to realize that some sort of interpretation of the old "rules were made to be broken" adage is gonna take place. And that, my friends, is the nut that the story's shell encases.
My friends: Um, what?
Oh, uh, sorry, I was just trying to sound cool. Anyway...
If you're the type of person who likes to prejudge and make assumptions about movies based on trailers (unlike me, of course), then you may initially think this movie is just all silly action. But that's not the case. Oh, there's definitely some silly and unrealistic action. Whenever you have Will Smith SURFING AWAY FROM AN EXPLOSION ON A FRONT DOOR then you know there's some stuff you're just gonna have to take with two pinches of salt and a dash of sugar, but I, Robot does a good job of developing and revealing its story, all while mixing in the right amount of rump cheek-kicking.
There is no denying that the special and visual effects are great, and they are the major selling point for this movie. The car scene in the tunnel is worth the price of admission, and the last 15 or 20 minutes really kick things into 1969 Camaro overdrive. If you've gotta go to the bathroom or get a refill on popcorn, then definitely do it before these last 20 minutes. But I found myself genuinely interested in the story. The movie manages to maintain a good amount of suspense and tension throughout, and it throws in a couple of twists just to keep things fresh. Are the robots as evil as they seem? Is Bruce Greenwood the bad guy he appears to be? Why exactly does Will Smith hate robots so much? Is Alfonso Ribeiro somewhere sucking his thumb and crying, wondering why Will won't return his phone calls?
The acting is pretty solid throughout. In general, I like Will Smith. But if you've seen Wild, Wild West then you know he's not immune to starring in crap. Thankfully, that's not the case here. Will Smith pretty much plays Will Smith, so take that for what you think it's worth. He's basically a cop with an attitude who likes to wax sarcastic and be all rebellious and stuff. And he has some good back-and-forths with the ever-adorable Bridget Moynahan who, as Dr. Susan Calvin, is an expert on robot psyches and has great lips - much better than the over-sized bananas Angelina Jolie has plastered below her nose.
Going into the movie, I had my reservations. After all, when I first saw the robots in the trailer, I thought they looked about as silly as Tom Cruise with his gray hair in "Collateral." But the robot special effects are actually well-done. I came away impressed. They look pretty realistic (more human than Al Gore, to be honest), especially in their mouth movements (George Lucas - take note). And Mrs. Shade made a good point - if you're putting a robot in every home, then you probably don't want it to look evil and menacing. The fight scenes between the robots are quite cool without looking too fake. This is a good sign that we may be moving away from CGI being too obvious.
I don't know if I'll add this to my DVD collection, but I definitely want to at least rent the DVD one day, assuming that it's loaded with cool special features. Just one question, which encompasses one of my complaints about the movie, why do so many action movies insist on having a scene where the hero saves an animal in peril? I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY MORE CATS OR DOGS BEING SAVED IN THE NICK OF TIME! I don't want to see animals die or anything, but I'm just tired of pointless "I must risk my life to save this animal" scenes. It's a cheap ploy to get audiences to go "Awwwww." It works, but it makes me dry heave.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
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