“ Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy - Science Fiction / Theatrical Release: 2004 / Director: Alex Proyas / Actors: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan ... / DVD released 03 December, 2004 at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, PAL „
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I remember seeing this film some years ago when it was first released on DVD. I was 14 at the time and watched it when a friend got the DVD so it is fair to say that I couldn't remember it too well. Therefore when I saw it was showing on Sky Movies at the moment I decided to give it a watch yesterday. This is a film only review.
The film begins with Del Spooner waking up in his apartment. The sun is shining brightly through the curtains and he turns on some music before jumping in the shower ready to start his day. He then heads down the stairs for work and this is when we first notice that there are a number of differences compared to our world today. As soon as Del opens the front door he is greeted by a robot who is trying to deliver a parcel. There are numerous robots milling about the city. Nobody sees this as a strange thing and everyone seems in a hurry to get to their workplace.
We soon learn that Del is a police officer who specialises in homicide. He does not approve of the reliance on robots in society and tries to perform all of his daily tasks without the assistance of them. He gets called to a suspicious death where a business man has fallen to his death from a balcony. There are conficting views regarding whether it was suicide or murder but Del is immediately suspicious of a robot milling about nearby...
This genre of film is not usually my first choice but I do like Will Smith so it is fair to say that all those years ago I was expecting this to be a decent film and although I couldnt remember all the in's and out's of the plot I do remember that I enjoyed the film so I was quite sure that I would enjoy it yesterday too.
I really like the way that the robots are first introduced into the plot. By a robot popping up in Del's face as soon as he opens the front door it is a big surprise to us as the viewer as prior to this it was easy to assume that Del was living in the present day.
The plot of the film worked well and I think that Will Smith did an excellent job of portraying a character who was very sceptical of the machines. It was clear to see that he was uneasy around them and because Will Smith almost always plays extremely loveable and down to earth characters I found that I was a little sceptical too. The plot flowed at a fast pace and I found that there was always something going on with more things to be discovered around every corner.
The acting was first class. We spend most of our time following Del and his mission to discover exactly what happened when the business man died but the supporting actors are also very talented and the acting is a high standard throughout the film.
The special effects used are very good and I was quite impressed with how good they are considering the film was made 8 years ago now. The film is visually appealing and I enjoyed watching it.
The ending of the film is done well and everything is wrapped up and concluded. The film is full of action right up until the closing minutes which helps to whip up excitement ready for the ending.
The film was released in 2004.
The film is rated as a 12A.
It runs for 115 minutes.
It stars Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan and Alan Tudyk.
This is a strong film with an interesting plotline. I think that it is suitable for most of the family and it is not scary at any point. I think this is a great film for couples to watch together or families with children who are a little older because it should provide entertainment for everyone with most people enjoying the film and being interested.
Definitely recommended, currently showing on Sky Movies if you have it or otherwise if it can be found for under £5 on DVD it is definitely worth buying.
Seem to be going through a Will Smith period at the moment, not quite sure why I'm watching a lot of his films at the moment, guess maybe that some of them such I, Robot could be considered underrated with the films that his in and the style in which the film is made. Like Hancock and Ali its nice to see Smith get away from the nicey, nicey cocky soundtrack singing character that seems to have been a trademark and in defence of Smith he does try to getaway from this label every now and then, yet its interesting to note that some of the films that he attempts to apply a different approach do tend to fail to meet expectations and it's a shame really as looking at the films after the hype has died down does tend to make me see the film in a different light without it being forced upon me and eventually boring me silly. Such a film is I, Robot, as I watched this for the first time in ages since its release back in 2004 and I have to say that time has greatly helped the film as it seems to matured very well indeed.
The plot of the film starts out to be simple whodunnit, Smith plays Detective Del Spooner. The year is 2035 and Spooner is assigned a case that appears to be a suicide but could have been carried out by a robot. The problem is that the person who is dead was a friend of Spooner and the location of the crime happen to be US Robotics, the manufacturing giant that makes the Robots that people buy, as the film opens up you get to see the Robots doing various chores and tasks working alongside human s in every way possible. To give some background a Robot is the essential thing to have and so far there have been different models built by US Robotics which are seen throughout the film. As the film proceeds Spooner is dragged into a world where his serious techno-phobia of the Robots is shown and is used by his nemesis as his Achilles heel and yet the more he investigates the death of his friend the more Spooner dislikes what he sees.
Smith is the main character with a mysterious past and as the film unravels its many secrets you start to understand why the character has these feelings. This is a totally different Smith we see on screen compared to films such as Men in Black. One who makes the wrong decisions and is called a liar for what he has to report back to his superiors even when he managed to survive a vicious attack by the Robots in a road tunnel and its refreshing to see this as well, in fact given the character of Spooner is a very closed and dark in nature and because of this the film has been given that edge that makes it different given the core of the story and the sub-plots involved that entertainingly all come together.
Backing up Spooner is Bridget Moynahan who plays Susan Calvin. She works for US Robotics and becomes the partner of Spooner as the film evolves. Early on in the film Calvin is a background character who Spooner visits as part of his investigation, and by the end become the partner to Spooner. I think her part wasn't written that well and by this I mean that she is the eye candy in the film although by the end she does have some amount of chemistry with Smith when they are on-screen together and she does have her very own moments as the shower scenes are used to good effect in parts, although these seems to be on the same level of a Maxi shoot giving the fact that these scenes are done very tastefully and which in turn simply oozes sex appeal.
James Cromwell is an actor who has appeared in what seems like everything in the past two decades. Here he plays the murdered Dr Alfred Lanning; in fact most of his part is in holographic form as these are the cryptic messages left for Spooner at various stages in the film. The part of Lanning is small and it seems that Cromwell has a cameo role, in fact his dialogue is minimal anyway, and however he is the catalyst in the story along with Sonny. Sonny is a CGI character who is voiced by Alan Tudyk, he voices the mysterious Robot at the centre of all the proceedings of the film and the one character and straight away you can tell that he is something special.
Also just to add that there is a very small part with Shia LeBeouf in an early role, compared to his later films such as Transformers, here he has curly hair that resembles more of an afro than anything else, he is another friend of Spooner, however his role is more of a streetwise street urchin that would rather use a baseball bat then diplomacy.
Rounding off the main cast is Bruce Greenwood, more recently Greenwood played Captain Christopher Pike in Star Trek. Here he plays Lawrence Robertson, head of US Robotics. Robertson is quite a nasty character that defends the company to the hilt in whatever circumstances and yet realises that the image of the company is at stake because of the murder. The heated discussion he has with Spooner is a good example of the calibre of writing that has been employed. I was impreseed with the soundtrack as well, thankfully no Will Smith sons but a pounding sound that reminded me of a heartbeat in tempo, this works very well with regards to the places it is used and increases in tempo where necessary.
The film also paints a different picture of the future as well, one not necessarily seen in the movies. By this I mean that the price of beer, in one seen Spooner is seen having paying for four bottles of Budweiser that cost $46! Again he is served by a Robot in this scene and the Robot is shown to provide a service and by the end of this scene you tend to feel sorry for it giving the way that Spooner treated it in the first place. In fact the theme of being accepted is a recurring theme throughout and by the end you do tend to sympathise with the Robot with what they have gone through, not saying anymore given the fact that I could send out spoilers. However it's safe to say that from the outset that Spooner does become the target with the Robots being used in attempt to kill him. None more so than the action scene that is set inside the road tunnel, this involves Spooner in his Audi with transporters full off Robots piling on top of the car, this is what I would call a full on action sequence as the whole sequence that lasts for over five minutes culminates with Spooner being told by a Robot that he is "going to have an accident" and after the crash there is no sign of any Robot or vehicle, in fact the Robots have made it look like the driver fell asleep at the wheel! This incident in turn makes Spooner tell his Chief what has happened to which a very nice twist is executed. In fact there are a number of twists in the film that are used to good effect and this is why I think this is a far better film than people give it credit for. There is obvious uses of product placement, the most easiest identifiable products being Audi whose cars are used throughout and Converse who 2004 model is referenced as classic. Not a major problem as the film is set in the future and the design of the car is somewhat advance in design, even for an Audi.
The extras do justice to film as well, with a Commentary by Director Alex Proyas and Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman giving a detailed aspect of what they did to achieve the desired shot at a given location as well as a trivia track as well. Interestingly given the fact that this is a CGI effect laden film a number of featurettes provide granular overviews of the production methods. Add to the mix Deleted Scenes as well as two Alternate Endings and it is a complete package.
Overall I enjoyed the film immensely and was a good find on DVD, I know some shops have parts of the film as a demonstration of the wares and this shows exactly how high the standards have been raised with regards to the production of the film itself. Its not only about a man coming to terms with Robots becoming part of the normal day-to-day life. It's actually far more than that anyway. The story is based on the Isaac Asimov novel and really the only part that has transferred over is the Three Laws that acts as a Robot code of ethics. However what has been produced is a very high calibre film that entertains with a superior script that provides a fair amount of suspense and tension throughout as it's a film that proceeds towards the end of the film with a good pace and one that never oversteps the mark as the climax is quite a nervous affair given its setting and what is happening around the two main characters involved, so the journey from the start to the finish is 109 minutes in length yet this is one film that I felt truly has that epic appeal that has been quite rightly tagged to it. As I said at the beginning of the piece this was a break the mould moment for Will Smith and I am hoping that one day the character of Spooner returns to the screen again.
When I saw the first adverts for this film the name seemed rather odd and I thought it was something to do with Apple! However, evidently Apple are not selling these kinds of robots (yet) and so I guess the 'I' is about something else here. The trailers seemed somewhat interesting, and the impression I got was that robots had become so advanced that they had turned on the human race; not a necessarily original idea but one worth a watch. But was I right?
Del Spooner does not trust robots, in spite of their consistently good reputation and apparent inability to commit crime. In the event of a sudden death, he is called up in a hologram message from the deceased, Dr Alfred Lanning. In spite of the authorities being adamant his death was a suicide, finds himself seeking out Lanning's killer. Of course the first place his suspicion will fall is with the robots...
The story appeared very complicated when I first saw it, but actually it is all quite basic. Unfortunately there seem to be more red herrings than twists in the tale, so that after a while I found myself wondering whether it was worth paying attention to certain scenes.
Although nothing original, I did quite like the idea of robots becoming more human and having feelings and personalities of their own. Obviously cynical thoughts of whether the future could develop this rapidly do kick in an as this movie is set in 2035, not that far off all things considered, I found it a little too unrealistic. It is nice to think that life could change this dramatically, just about within our lifetimes. The murder mystery theme made it a bit more unique but would have maintained my interest more if this was the main focus of the film, and in fact this did not seem clear. There seemed to be a lot going on, and a few things that lead to nowhere, like a cat being rescued but then we see nothing more of it, whether it is safe or not.
I enjoyed this film, although at nearly 2 hours, it was longer than it needed to be or should have been. I also was not too keen on feeling quite unsure of what went on and not fully being able to make sense of it. I guess you are meant to be left a bit puzzled but to be honest I was puzzled as to the point of the film, which is not such a great thing! Still, with sufficient action and some rather dramatic events, it was at least a good bit of clean entertainment.
Will Smith is his usual brilliant self in this film, with his natural personality shining through his character whether being serious or not. We can't really expect the same excitement or humour as most of his films as this really is not his typical sort of film and for a while I wondered if the role could suit him. However, without him I think the film on the whole would have seemed a lot more dull, so I am glad he was chosen for this role.
I was also quite impressed with Alan Tudyk, who played Sonny the robot, as I think this would be quite a difficult role to play. He gives the robot a real human feel without becoming over-emotive and dramatic. Personally, I don't think there were any particularly outstanding characters or performances in this film and instead most of the enjoyment was just in the actual story, rather than how it was performed.
I did like the appearance of the robots, although they were very obviously computer-animated and this appears intentional. Their movements were oddly smooth but it helps as you are not distracted by clumsiness. The overall appearance is rather clinical and metallic; a lot of films still seem to see the future in this way and it is not entirely convincing. However, this is somewhat compensated by the action scenes, which are a good and lively distraction.
The soundtrack is tense and, in places, very jumpy. Although not particularly memorable after the film, I did notice that it really adds to the suspense and makes the action scenes a lot more powerful than they would otherwise be. A lot more could have been done to make the soundtrack more unique, and I think I would have appreciated this given that being a Will Smith film does come with some expectations!
The film is rated 15 in the UK, although I did notice that generally in other countries this was a bit lower. Personally I think the film could have gotten away with a 12 rating, as there is nothing particularly rude or offensive and although there are violent scenes, they do not go overboard. It seems a shame that under 15s should miss out on this film (although frankly I'm sure they'll find a way to see it if they want!) as with any film that has Will Smith on its credit roll, it is most appealing to younger viewers.
I wouldn't really spend money on a film like this, but if it does come on telly at some point in the future then it is worth a watch and I would probably not mind watching it again myself. I would not advise you to have any high expectations of this film as you would be disappointed, but if you like mainstream sci-fi and futuristic movies you may enjoy it more. Will Smith fans would also enjoy it, of course, but the general nature of this film is not his typical style, so you might not be in a hurry to see it.
Will Smith is brilliant in this film, as he is in everything he does.
This betrays perhaps a slight bias in my perspective towards the film.
Asimov's novel of the same name is a book I read in my teenage years and it has left a lasting, and positive impression. In an age before computers, before avatars and robotic neurosurgeons, Asimov told bewitching tales of the boundary line between human and artificial intelligence. You really wanted them to be human, or at least to be part of the elite group in creation who can claim some kind of consciousness (to which dogs, dolphins, the great apes and a certain German octopus belong).
Given this starting point, you might expect a rave review of this film.
Well, it is a good film, well acted and with strong leads in the shape of Will Smith and co. It can never reach the philosophical subtlety of the narrative voice in the book, but then it has some stunning cinematography which makes up for that understandable lack.
There is a problem, though, with this film and it is so huge that it means I will not watch it a second or a third time. It's the robots. They are computer generated, which in itself is nothing to worry about since we have seen hundreds of fantastic robots, aliens and monsters in the last twenty years or so. But they look like something out of a Kinder egg. Spindly mock silver, obviously cheap and likely to break if you so much as breathe on them. No facial expression to speak of, and unremarkable characterisation (think of the ancient robot in the black and white Lost in Space tv series, and you will appreciate what miracles can be done with a plastic globe and a couple of old hoover tubes). The facial features are tacked on like the appendages of Mr potato man, only without the cuteness.
Yes, the robots are soulless, empty shells, more like insects than people. And this is precisely NOT the message that Asimov was keen to get across.
So all in all, this film does not get my vote of support. But the book...... now that's something I could recommend unreservedly. [rushes off to do a dooyoo review of the book.....]
Director Alex Proyas is currently working on his Tripods film project, inspired perhaps by the 2005 movie adaption of War of the Worlds writer H.G Wells given the striking similarity of lofty-martian themed Science Fiction. It is a very difficult task for any director to rival one of their own films unless they are passionate about what genre they choose to pursue, I Robot for instance bears amazing twin reference to that of the Kirby Silver surfer comics, recently coming back to life in the 2007 Fantastic four sequel: rise of the silver surfer, the superhero 'absorbs and manipulates cosmic energies' as a super power humaniod who saves earth from destruction but later becomes a corrupt villain in much the same way that I Robot soon super-functioned.
Proyas saw the phenomenal potential in Issac Asimov's collection of short stories on the co-existence between humans and robots in which has always been one of the most exploited subject areas of science fiction authors, very few directors can render fiction into brilliant reality unless they are well researched in their field of expertise and at least adopt written ideas in the process. I Robot therfore is very likely a culmination of Asimov and and Wells works that each have written about superior life forms, that contemporary film making techniques keep the stories alive as well as adapt them to modern science fiction relevance.
Will Smith, the youngest non-cosmetic looking 41 year old actor in Hollywood, plays the ultimate role as detective Del Spooner, a techno phobic cop who isn't at ease living in a robot-benign society set some 25 years from now in the future. He is assigned a mission to uncover the truth of a supposed suicide of a robotics scientist, he suspects that one of new NS-5 models was responsible but is sometimes decieved by the advanced emotionally aware magnificance of Sonny (Tudyk) whose virtual interactive intelligence gives him the same reasoning abilities as any other human, though with a more flexible curcuiting, so already is designed to escape the three laws of robotics when he is given the added advantage of negotiable human characteristics with even a gender identity.
Sonny initially represents equality and harmony in which he is programmed and controlled, but his creators hadn't bargained on how mature he could override their own making of his overall intellignece in which they must have considered the posibility that he is just more than a mere resourceful servant. The special effects department made him tangibly factual though cyber graphically virtual, so in some respects you feel as if Sony is a plausible life-form, it must have cost the producers at least half of their $120 million film budget to utilise all of the technical applications on this virtual robot and then reaped the rewards of the gross $144,801,023 revenue it amassed domestically.
The choice of actor to play detective spooner perhaps wasn't the best when I will always associate Will Smith with his hysterically amusing role in the fresh prince of Bellaire. He is foremost a comedian and performs his very best as one, so any serious acting he does must have some flexibility, otherwise he is liable to become typecast outside of his own acting talents and we lose our orignal familiarity with him forever. However, he acts superbly well as an action figure but lacks the kind of rough edge soldierly as say Bruce Willis or Peter Weller in Robo-cop, I Robot would have been far more sensational if Proyas had included an accompanying tougher character to set about assassinating Sony and the army of repilcas, Smith alone was like a timid paper boy on the run from a growling Spaniel!
There was plenty of great suspense as we worked up to Sony's looming grievous capabilities, it was an edge of the seat ace, but you also knew what was going to happen before it did, so there was nothing thrown in the way to keep the anticipation growing. I would have preferred it if Sony was met with a more reckonable force that would torment him into submission before unleashing his evil marvellous and then to be partially destroyed by a whopping muscle-bound C3PO. There is so much more that Proyas and the film creators could have done to make Sony a less predictable character with more challenges other than an endless chase situation that compensates for the lack of creativity in an otherwise gripping story.
2004 was a great time to make a film like I Robot when we witness the computer animated success of The Incredibles, both movies inspired to a large degree by the once traditional science fiction comic papers, children would spend their days engrossed in these pre and post war amusements before film became a widely accessible commodity.
A new generation of audience is now invited to follow in the same wonderous footsteps as previous ones, albeit on the movie screen. However, I robot is rated a mature 15, would easily have been a 6 or 8 in the 1950s even with the increasing sophistication of etched animation that created overwhelming 'dissaproval from parents and teachers' - This Proyas film is perhaps age appropriate given it's murderous machine, but is therefore only accessible to a marginal audience, there is nothing that fearsome about it that even a 13 year old can't watch as long as they are supervised.
I thought there was an interesting interaction between Will Smiths character and the robot. Sonny soon displays traits that no other robot ever has before him and whilst Will Smiths character is inclined to dismiss him out right there comes a point when Sonnys integrity becomes clear.
Its seems to me that no expense was spared on the high tech graphics used as they are really very good indeed throughout the film, but with a budget of US$120 million you would expect no less.
I Robot is boosted by Smiths input into the character of Spooner and to my mind the film would have been less enjoyable without his acting contribution in my opinion. He is very believable as the Chicago police detective and brings his usual strengths to this film. I feel that Susan Calvin as the robopsychologist is also very watchable too as she brings a softness to the character she plays, showing great empathy for Sony in certain scenes.
As such I am awarding the film 4 stars and could easily watch this again sometime.
You can buy I Robot from Amazon at the moment for just over £3.
DVD classification: Age 15 and over
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
DVD release date: 3rd December 2004
Film running time: 115 minutes
Supporting cast includes: Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, and Shia La Beouf.
The film was nominated for the 2004 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, having seen it I can see why.
It's the year 2035 where robots are now a part of everyday life helping us as servants.
Detective Del Spooner doesn't trust the Robot's and is very wary of them, he is called out to investigate the apparent suicide of the scientist who created the Robot Programme, Dr. Alfred Lanning.
Spooner suspects that the death might not have been a suicide, but by the very things he created, by one of his very own robots. All robots are programmed by three laws, but Spooner starts to wonder if his suspicions were correct and in fact a robot can in fact commit a crime and possibly murder. But if Spooner's suspicions are true, he is going to have a hard time convincing everyone.
The three rules 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.
This film idea (and that is where it stops) is from a story by Isaac Asimov, the story doesn't follow the same, and the characters are different, and Will Smith is fronting the whole thing.
I wasn't really excited to see this movie, I had seen the cover with it's rows and rows of robots behind the front figure of Will Smith with a beautiful sunset behind, it looked silly, I know I know, you should never judge a book by it's cover, (but sometimes it does pay off) this time it definitely paid off.
Alex Proyas Who Directed this Movie is probably one of the few Directors who I have seen have such different styles of films.
Starting with the film Crow (with Brandon Lee) to then change and do a music video with Sting, to change again to I,Robot and Then the Knowing.
You can see that Alex likes challenges for himself and changes the style of directing. You have to admit that's brave for anyone, usually a director has a talent in one area and wont usually stray from it but what Alex Proyas has accomplished with this movie is show how talented and versatile he is, even though there is a script provided the power of the vision it's up to the director to see where he wants the movie to go and move it along it's course.
The movie for me had a slow start, showing the lead character Spooner getting ready for the day, it's a bit same old same old and you almost think you know how the movie is going to go, but after you get past the first 10 minutes it really gets going.
Sometimes what can make a good movie may come across as a little unrealistic, I mean this movie shows the advancements of machines so if they can go this far then nothing should seem out of place or far fetched, because we are no where near close to where this movie is at otherwise it would be a documentary.
The good thing about the robot's were they seemed very close to look like us in shape, height and build, they seemed like they are the advancement of the human race, with super speed and super strength, even super intelligence.
The movie effects got the right effect portrayed to us, the movie didn't require a big light and sound show but when it was used it was used correctly and in the right places, like when Will is being targeted and a whole truck load of robots start attacking him in the tunnel, the robots had an uncanny way to moving like spiders (when the red light is on the robots) when they were climbing things they move like spiders, and just like you would expect Will Smith doesn't get killed, I know if this happened in real life he would of, but if the star of the movie dies here, there's pretty much no more movie.
Will Smith Played the character of Det. Del Spooner brilliantly, he showed on the outside to people that he is ok with robots to a degree, but on the inside he completely distrusts them.
The first part of the movie you are set upon with a mystery. Why does he distrusts them so much? why cant he accept them like everybody else? but all becomes clear, at some points you do start to think that maybe his thinking shouldn't be completely dismissed.
When he is teamed up with Dr. Susan Calvin played by Bridget Moynahan they are like the most unlikely pair you could put together(of course) Susan absolutely trusts the robots and thinks Spooner mad for not trusting them, telling him that they are the future.
The one thing that I have started to notice about Will Smith is that some of the films he has done, a few of the characters are very similar if not the same, like in Hancock his character was very close to Spooner which I realised when I was watching Hancock.
When the movie came out in the theatres it received mixed reviews complaining that it only had a slight resemblance to the book by Isaac Asimov, but the film wasn't meant to be straight from Isaac's story word for word, it was used for some idea's but not enough to advertise that it's running along side the book.
Will Smith as Det. Del Spooner
Bridget Moynahan as Dr. Susan Calvin
Alan Tudyk as Sonny
Shia Labeouf as Farber
Fiona Hogan as V.I.K.I.
James Cromwell as Dr. Alfred Lanning
Bruce Greenwood as Lawrence Robertson
Chi McBride as Lt. John Bergin
Terry Chen as Chin
Adrian Ricard as Gigi (Granny)
-Three audio Commentaries including director Alex Proyas
-The making of I,Robot
-Inside Look: Alien Vs Predator;24, Elektra
the running time for this movie is 115 minutes
and you can buy this from Amazon for £3.00
Set in the recent future, everyday life involves living in harmony with robots. Robots that are there to help with everyday life and that have protocals built into them not allowing them to hurt human life.
This is something believed by all except Will Smith, a cop with a painful past that just does not trust robots. Everybody mocks him until one day when a scientist of the major robot manufacturing plant is found dead, apparently killed by a robot.
As Smith gets closer and closer to the truth, not only does his life get put in danger but he also begins to find out a truth that could mean the end of life as we know it.
With the help of a robot scientist and a robot, Smith gets into a race against time to figure out what is going on and how to stop it, befire it's too late!
I know a lot of people out there are now Will Smith fans and believe he hamms things up a bit too much in his films but I am not one of those. I actually really like Will Smith and have that apparent rare ability to take him and some of his films for what they really are.........over the top entertainment with humorous corney lines.
I don't read into them too much, I don't pick at plot holes and I appreciate that Smith is acting the way he does on purpose as opposed to not being able to act (all you have to do is watch his more serious films to realise the guy can really act and put on a believable emotional performance).
Now, with regards to this futuristic sci-fi, action, humorous special effects ensemble, this film delivers exactly what it intends. It gets you to switch your brain off a bit and take in the eye candy on display.
Although, unbelievable, I thought the story was pretty good, and the characters were worth watching for the whole movie.
The special effects on the robots were brilliant and at times they looked too real!
This film needed over the top acting to be enjoyable and it delivered. If it had been taken too seriously then the whole thing just would not have worked. A more serious attempt at the story would have needed to be picked at and obviously it would have failed badly!
I liked this film and I would recommend it to all, well except to all those anti Will Smith people, they will just pick at it however good or bad!
At less than four pound on amazon your looking at pocket change.
This runs for an easy 1 hour and 49 mins and is rated a 15.
The dvd has many special features but none that I would scream out in enjoyment over.
I rewatched this recently, being on a bit of a Science Fiction kick, and working my way through a rather vast shelf of futuristic movies. I was also prompted to watch this again by seeing an old programme in the "Outer Limits" strand, but more of that later.
The premise is simple, it appears that a robot, logically hardwired to be incapable of murder, has, in fact, committed a murder. Wisecracking detective Del Spooner is despatched to find out what's going on - crash bang boom ensues.
The story is loosely (very loosely - I spotted a logical flaw that would have irritated him hugely) on the "scientifiction" stories of Isaac Asimov, most notably the ones based around the so-called "three laws":
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.
Asimov manages to construct elegant logical puzzles out of these in the stories in the "I Robot" series (a common misconception about these stories is that they constitute a novel, but they do not - they are a tightly connected series of stories that test the boundaries of man/machine interaction, all published at different times with different, though recurring, characters) - this film appropriates the laws, but uses them more as window-dressing than a core sensibility.
Actually, the film is much closer to the Eando Binder book of the same title (otherwise unrelated, and published earlier) which concerns a apparently murderous robot. This was adapted into an "Outer Limits" episode twice - and is not credited at all, as far as I can see.
It sounds like I'm quibbling, but I was really disappointed to see what was basically a Will Smith "rougue cop" vehicle, with a really hoky plot, superimposed on a terrific concept - to the detriment of both (rather like in the more recent "Omega Man" - although Smith was better in that, I thought).
On the upside, Smith is good at what he does, and the film is diverting, but the crazy product placement (particularly a long and curiously unexciting car chase which is clrearly there just to advertise the car) and the retro-future styling of the robots themselves (they look like walking Apple computers) really makes for an unsatisfying watch. The mawkish, hokey ending supplies one final kick in the bum on the way out.
The dvd I have included a fair amount of ramble about the laws - much of which made little sense, and some stuff on the special effects, but I couldn't be bothered watching very much of it.
This is a film that wasn't all that when it first came out - and hasn't worn well.
I, robot is a film based on the brilliant set of short stories written by sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov. Asimov wrote the series of short stories which appeared in various magazines in the late thirties, these stories were eventually catalogued into the novel I, robot.
I, robot, the film is very loosely based on these short stories, Asimov created a world with intelligent sentient robots who are controlled by the three laws of Robotics, the first being that no robot can allow a human to come to any harm, the second says a robot must follow humans orders unless in contradiction of law 1 and the third law states a robot must preserve its own life except in contradiction of laws 1 and 2. These three laws are the laws which dictate robotic behaviour and the short stories tend to be investigations into when a robot goes rogue as a result of problems apply these laws.
So, we have a setting where robots are controlled by their programming to both obey humans and protect them but the contradiciton is if they take an order which through either action or inaction contradicts law 1. These mysteries are explored thoroughly by Asimovs short stories and give us a range of stories which can be enjoyed by readers of any age.
So onto the film, Asimov has given us a universe and we can go anywhere with it. The film decides to take the title of this novel and the concept of robots, the laws and a rogue robot and discard all the rest. This is a film on full throttle, it barely worries about plot holes or contradictions and instead just blasts to the next scene.
The film is set in Chicago in 2035, where robots are endemic but are distrusted by the populace, one of these is the detective Spooner (Will Smith) who dislikes robots due to an incident with a car underwater. Spooner takes his angst with him and is asked to investigate the suicide of a scientist called Alfred Lanning. Lanning works for U.S. Robotics and Spooner soon suspects foul play, he has to work with one of the companies executives Susan Calvin (she's in the short stories) who he also distrusts.
Will Smith just goes into his independence day full throttle barely thinking all-action acting. He just seems to act at full speed through-out without any thought to the actions around him or the events unfolding.
We view the world through his eyes and the film soon develops into a coroprate cover up and conspiracy tale. There is a rogue robot around and U.S. Robotics are desperate to find him and to keep the problem out of the public domain. Smith is clearly wanting another chance to show his Ali style acting but soon slides into a very average guns and cars chase movie.
The film powers itself to a conclusion, with some of the worse product placement ever when a huge AUDI is used in an incident with robot drones. For huge chunks of the film, the book which inspired it is totally ignored but right at the very end in a desperate attempt to bring some kind of cohesive finish the book is remembered and the fate of the robot is explained. As the viewer has spent the last hour being barraged by endless fights and car chases, an attempt for a cinematic ending is totally pointless.
Asimovs book is a classic, looking at not only robots but the ambiguity of orders on a susceptible mind, the film does have any ambiguity or subtleness it simple powers on and comes to a crashing and confusing finish.
The CGI of the film are good but not exceptional and the depiction of Chicago isn't too hard as its only set 50 years in the future but the flight to the stars so well described in the novel is ignored and the need to add a death and investigation do nothing for the film except as an excuse to give Will Smith a role.
One to avoid I'd suggest if you've ever read and loved the book.
I watched this movie again recently and thoroughly enjoyed it as it has the right mix of action and sci-fi to keep everyone amused and entertained and it really captured my imagination. Add that to the special effects and you have a fantastic package.
This movie features Will Smith in the lead role and is set in the future in the year 2035. The action takes place in Chicago and life is very different to how it is now with gas driven cars are almost a thing of the past. Will Smith plays Chicago Police Detective Del Spooner who has been asked to investigate the murder of Dr. Miles Hogenmiller who is one of the lead scientist at U.S. Robotics. In this day and age the robots made by this company have been integrated into our society and now do everything from household duties to picking up the trash. You will find them in almost every house on every street as they have almost replaced pets, but more useful.
The robots are programmed to carry out certain tasks and also have to follow specific directives to control them. They must not injure another human being or allow a human to come to harm. Also, they must obey orders that are given to it by humans except an order to harm another human and therefore contravening rule one. The third and last rule is that a robot must protect it's own existence, again not breaking laws one and two.
The whole movie rotates around these three basic rules. For the most part humans trust the robots but Will Smith's character is skeptical and believes that no robot should be trusted as they could turn at any point and their programming go wrong. He is extremely paranoid about the situation.
Over the course of the movie we see the drama unfold as his fears begin to be confirmed as the robots begin to turn against their owners. It reminded me a little bit of dogs as pets as although they are wonderful companions and for the most part can be trusted they can turn and be unpredictable at times and are always capable of attack.
There is some violence in this movie and the action scenes are fantastic as are the effects. The film never goes over the top as it could have done and get too gory which is good. It is a bit too intense for young children but older children can probably watch with adult supervision.
I found the movie very stimulating and it seems to revolve around the idea that time robots can become part of our lives and be taught to love and learn and even have a soul. However, it is not quite as simple as that as there is the risk that if you do that then they become too much like humans and volatile. Will Smith for me shows how flexible an actor he is and appeals as well. I certainly warmed to his character.
I, Robot is an intense all-action thriller that tries to be a bit deeper than some films of it's type. It is clever and interesting with spectacular stunts, explosions etc. I would recommend this film as it's extremely entertaining.
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
i, Robot is loosely based on Isaac Asimov's short-story collection of the same name, and is also directed by Alex Proyas, who was the rather talented director behind the brilliant cult sci-fi film Dark City. This is more accessible, Hollywood bred material, but as far as blockbuster films go, this has some pressing narrative concerns, and asks interesting questions about the nature of existence, the increasing role of technology in our lives, while cleverly condensing the escence of Asimov's stories.
The film takes place in the mid 21st century, where robots have endured a mass proliferation the world over, and are largely used as servants. However, Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) is a technophobe who still lives in the early 21st century, and hates the advancements being made. Furthermore, when Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), is murdered, Spooner believes that it was committed by a robot, Sonny (Alan Tudyk), but given how robots are bound by the three laws of robotics, which dictates that they cannot harm a human being nor allow them through an action come to harm, Spooner's claims are mostly frowned upon. Also, those running the robotics companies (Bruce Greenwood) are quick to dispel his claims for fear of hurting their financial interests. While primarily an actioner, the film has enough philosophy to resonate.
Despite the blatant product placement of the likes of Converse, I couldn't help but enjoy this as a CGI-filled action-piece that delivers the goods you'd expect from a blockbuster while also having a few more smart narrative concerns. One can't deny that it's highly entertaining, and Smith's charisma, as usual, carries the project through to the finish line.
Loosely based on a collection of short stories by classic Sci-Fi author Isac Asimov, 'I, Robot' stars WIll Smith as Detective Del Spooner, a man with a strong dislike and suspicion of the increasingly sophisticated and humanlike robots that are now omnipresent throughout the developed world and who stumbles upon a mixture of futuristic conspiracy and old-fashioned murder mystery after Dr Alfred Lanning, a prominent figure in the US Robotics industry is murdered, leaving cryptic clues in his holographic recordings that hint of nefarious corporate dealings and the possibility that the country's supposedly benign robots are in fact potential killers.
The film is not particularly deep, although its conspiratorial plotline is certainly engaging and it does do a reasonable job of exploring the philosophical questions of what it means to be human and what limits should be imposed on the freedoms of individuals for the benefit of society at large.
The overrated Smith puts in his usual decent but unremarkable performance (playing himself, as he does in all his films) and the direction is decent, although the cgi-based special effects can look decidedly ropey and unrealistic in places. The film also employs very heavy product placement throughout its duration, so much so that I was expecting a toll-free ordering number to flash up onscreen at any moment, but though the film does have a bloated, lazy and somewhat generic hollywood feel to it it still manages to be entertaining enough, providing a couple of hours of reasonably intelligent escapist enjoyment.
(film only review)
Based somewhat loosely on Isaac Asimov book of the same name I, Robot is a Sci fi action thriller that was originally released in 2004. It looks at the idea of Robots taking over and being incorporated into human life on earth. The film on release got pretty mixed reviews with slightly more towards the positive side.
The film is set in the year 2035 in a world that relies on large system of robots, which are programmed specifically to help humans and not harm them in any way. The robots are programmed to follow certain rules : 1)A robot can never harm a human; 2) a robot must obey all human orders unless it conflicts with the first law: and 3) a robot must protect itself unless it conflicts with the first two laws.
One person though does not think the robots are helpful. He is Chicago homicide detective Del Spooner (Will Smith). One day, he receives a call from United States Robotics (USR) about a recent death of a renowned robot scientist named Dr. Alfred J. Laning. The majority of the Chicago Police Department believe that he committed suicide, but Detective Spooner thinks he was murdered, and the number one suspect is a Nestor Class-5 robot who calls himself Sonny. He begins his investigation on Lanning's death, only to discover Sonny is a "unique" robot. Aiding Spooner in his investigation is a psychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin, who specializes in working with robots.
This is an enjoyable and entertaining enough film with some great action and special effects. There is no denying that the special and visual effects are great, and they are the major selling point for this movie. There is one scene with the car in the tunnel which is a top part of the movie. There is also some snappy dialogue with Will Smith especially. All of this is good but the technological plot is a bit jumbled up and its not completely clear and there are quite a few plot holes. Character development in the film is quite poor and it means we do not really care about the human characters too much and we do not feel a real connection with them. I do like Will Smith as an actor and person but he comes across as being overly arrogant and not too likeable in this film. Overall a good action film with decent special effects but alot of other things are lacking to make it a great film. An interesting philisophical movie in places but nothing really special in my opinion.
August 6, 2004
Running time: 115 minutes
This film was released in 2004 and stars Will Smith playing a police detective in the future in the year 2035. It is based on Issac Asimov's novel, although the similarities between the novel and film, are not particularly similar.
In this film robots are part of everyday life, there is one in almost every home used to help with everyday activities. Will Smith is by nature suspicious of robots in general and when a scientist is murdered, Will Smith accuses a robot of commiting murder. I will not spoil the plot by revealing more, but what ensues is a fast paced exciting film, hardly great by any standards, but highly entertaining. There are some excellent performances in this film, not only from Will Smith but also from Bruce Greenwood and James Cromwell.
The CGI is pretty good, as is the cinematography in general, and the story has a basic enough and rather balanced message about the dangers of over-relying on technology, whilst embracing that it can also be a great benefit to society. There are some poor one-liners in this film, and the plot is predictable and follows a formula at times, but it is entertaining enough
The final criticism that I would levy at this film is that it does not live up too it's potential, the book was well ahead of it's time the film is certainly not, it could have been much better, and considered the ideas explored in the novel a lot better, but it still definitely worth a watch
As paranoid cop Del Spooner, Will Smith displays both his trademark quips and some impressive pectoral muscles in I, Robot. Only Spooner suspects that the robots that provide the near future with menial labor are going to turn on mankind--he's just not sure how. When a leading roboticist dies suspiciously, Spooner pursues a trail that may prove his suspicions. Don't expect much of a connection to Isaac Asimov's classic science fiction stories; I, Robot, the action movie, isn't prepared for any ruminations on the significance of artificial intelligence. This likable, efficient movie won't break any new ground, but it does have an idea or two to accompany its jolts and thrills, which puts it ahead of most recent action flicks. Also featuring Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, and James Cromwell. --Bret Fetzer