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Silver Surfer's twin bro
I Robot (DVD)
Member Name: shikiraclare
I Robot (DVD)
Advantages: Asimov inspired, amazing special effects, full of latent possibilities other writers can supercede
Disadvantages: Predictable thriller, unchallengeable with Will Smith at the driving seat
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.
Summary: Even some computers have a life of their own!