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I, Robot

A movie based on the book "I, Robot" featuring Will Smith.

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Surprisingly Good

  • Dec 28, 2004
  • by
First of all, I haven't read Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot," so I don't have any basis on which to compare the book to the film. However, I have watched many science fiction flicks. I enjoy adventures such as the original "Star Wars" trilogy, action flicks like the recent "Resident Evil: Apocalypse," and the type of sci-fi that leaves you in a reflective mood, such as "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

I expected "I, Robot" to lean towards the "Resident Evil" genre of sci-fi. Plenty of shoot'em up action and brainless explosions that are good for a Sunday afternoon, but won't expect you to think too much. Add to the fact that Will Smith is in the starring role, and I expected the action to be hopped up on streetwise, smarty-pants humor. Imagine my surprise when, after viewing the film, I was amazed at how really good this flick is.

Granted, it is full of fast-paced action that any Playstation fan would jump with glee for, but it also has a really great murder mystery aspect to it that leaves you questioning just who the bad guy really is. Also, Smith's token smart mouth is toned down a little, and I actually enjoyed watching him on the screen. He seems to have finally matured into an adult, and his face is finally showing a little age, which makes it easier to believe in him as a toughened cop.

The story starts out with Smith's character, Spooner, investigating the murder of a brilliant scientist responsible for introducing personal robots into society. These robots provide companionship, do manual labor, and serve as all-around go-to's when needed. Of course, Spooner believes this reliance on robots is only the beginning of something horrible down the road. He immediately suspects one of the newest robotic creations to be the murderer of the good doctor. He, along with a fellow employee of the deceased doctor, goes out to find who or what did the deed and why they did it. What follows is a quickly paced action film that has plenty of intelligence for the viewer with an I.Q. above the average moviegoer.

The story does start out somewhat slow, but it picks up about thirty-minutes in on both the action and intellectual levels. Don't worry, you can still watch this as a brainless flick, but its story is so good that you'll be hard pressed not to follow it.

The special effects are fun to watch. It is amazing how life-like the robots are. Sonny, the murder suspect, manages to win over even the toughest critics with his human emotions and actions. I forgot that he wasn't real while watching the movie, making this story that much easier to digest.

The DVD itself is sparse on extras. There is a little "making of" documentary and a stills gallery. There's also a commentary provided for those folks who have nothing better to do. Honestly, I glance at some extras on DVDs, but I hardly look at them more than once. If you're like me, you won't miss the movie trailers, cast filmographies, or other fluff that is sometimes put on these discs. I buy these things for the films on them, not to learn why certain scenes are left on the cutting room floor.

In closing, buy this flick if you like intelligent murder mysteries with a twist. If you like sci-fi flicks in general, this movie won't let you down. If you're an action fan, this motion picture has plenty of that, too.

Highly recommended.

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More I, Robot reviews
Quick Tip by . October 19, 2010
I wondered how they'd make a movie out of this. They succeeded. It was definitely intriguing and exciting.
review by . November 19, 2008
It takes a lot of guts to attempt to capture the essence of Asimov in a movie, and even more to cast Will Smith as the hero, Del Spooner - Robot Hater.     Will has "funny" imbedded in his programming (Fresh Prince; Men in Black; Wild Wild West et al), but that new body! It took me quite a while to get past that early shower scene, and the "back" button on the remote was overheating too.     He's sharp, he's smart, he's cool and he's buffed, but he's not your …
review by . November 14, 2008
I, Robot
The movie `I, Robot' takes its cue from Asimov's collection of short stories by the same name. It is not based on any one of the stories from the collection, choosing instead of add a newer tale still firmly establishing itself in the premise of the book: The three Laws of Robotics.     The three laws 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 …
review by . July 02, 2006
Disassociate this movie from the book by Isaac Asimov. The movie contains the three laws of robotics, from Asimov's classic book, and the flaw in the three laws, but that's about all it borrows from the book. Nevertheless, it is a fun action flick with enough suspense to keep you interested to the very end.    Will Smith does a good job as the police officer with an ax to grind against robots and James Cromwell is always a pleasure to watch.    It's a good, …
review by . October 18, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
After suffering through Will Smith's sleepwalk performance in MIB II, I was pleased by the energy level he brings to this fast paced fun movie. Smith lives in a world where robots are commonplace, serving humans (reminicent of the 4th Planet of the Apes movie) as nannies, butlers, and general servants. He is called to solve the murder of a scientist, who was his friend. The only possible suspect seems to be a robot. The only problem is that robots are subject to Isaac Asimov's 3 laws, meaning that …
review by . July 16, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Great FX and Smith.     Cons: Supporting characters are not very deep.     The Bottom Line: A classic Summer Movie that will entertain.     Tales of a dark and foreboding future where technology has run amuck have been cautioning viewers ever since Orwell made the phrase “Big Brother” a household expression. Other films such as �”, “Westworld”, “Blade Runner” and “The Terminator” often show …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #32
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


Starring Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Alan Tudyk, James Cromwell
Directed by Alex Proyas
Writer:  Jeff Vintar
Loosely based on the novel I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

Product Description
In the year 2035, technology and robots are a trusted part of everyday life. But that trust is broken when a scientist is found dead and a skeptical detective (Smith) believes that a robot is responsible. Bridget Moynahan co-stars in this high-tech action thriller that questions whether technology will ultimately lead to mankind's salvation . . . or annihilation.

I, Robot is a 2004 science fiction-action film. The film was directed by Alex Proyas and produced by John Davis, Topher Dow, Wyck Godfrey, Laurence Mark and Will Smith. The screenplay was penned by Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman and Hillary Seitz and is loosely based on Isaac Asimov's short-story collection of the same name. Will Smith starred in the lead role of the film as Detective Del Spooner, who hates robots and dislikes their integration into daily human life. Other members of the cast include Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Alan Tudyk, and Shia LaBeouf. The film was released in United States on July 16, 2004 and on July 22, 2004 in Australia. The film was released in United Kingdom on August 6, 2004 and in other countries between July 2004 to October 2004.

The film earned US$144,801,023 inside the United States and US$202,433,893 outside United States. In total, the film earned ...

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