I, Robot

When I saw the ad for this movie, I begged to what ever god in the pantheon that oversees Hollywood and pleaded “Please, respect Isaac Asimov, one of the most important writers of all times.”

I, RobotThat said, I watched a friend’s preview screening and have to say it’s not so bad as one might imagine. At least the action rocks!

With the choice of Will Smith as the star in this action thriller, you can guess what the producer’s intentions are for this movie inspired by the classic short story collection by Isaac Asimov.

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Brought to the big screen by the dynamic and visionary director Alex Proyas (Dark City, & The Crow), It takes place in the year 2035, where robots are an everyday household item, and everyone trusts them, except one slightly paranoid detective, Del Spooner (Smith).

With the aid of a psychologist, Dr. Susan Calvin, he is investigating the death of Dr. Miles Hogenmiller, a brilliant scientist who worked at US Robotics. He alone believes that this murder was perpetrated by a robot. The case leads him to discover a far more frightening threat to the human race.

Any great story is one that moves people and makes them think “What if?” The story in A.I. Aftificial Intelligence was very much in Asimov’s moral universe. It was very misunderstood and under-rated, because people are too lazy to think for themselves; they want easy escapism.

I, Robot (check out the Widescreen Edition) uses big name stars and a spectacular, state-of-the-art visual effects technique to bring a world of robots to life. Unfortunately for hardcore Asimov fans, they’ve largely abandoned the story, and only use the names of the characters. And rather than a single rogue robot, the robots are part of a plot to take over, like in Terminator.

Of course the book, as written, was never going to be a major summer movie without a lot of changes. Maybe they could have made a BBC or Sci-fi channel TV movie, but a feature film with big stars was going to be more action driven than Mr Asimov would have ever wanted. Makes me hope they don’t discover the Foundation series. But Smith’s character is not Elijah Bailey, but some other plainclothesman; “they” may be using the Asimov universe and adding a new story beyond the last, Robots of Dawn.

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