Sunday, January 20, 2008

I, Robot (2004)

Canlaws Productions, 20th Century Fox
Directed By: Alex Proyas

I had avoided seeing I, Robot when it first came out for various reasons. I had heard it was a large departure from the book (which is a collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov that explore the consequences of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics), and that it was full of crass commercialism. Additionally, although I enjoyed Will Smith in Men In Black, my opinion of him as an actor was not high at the time.

So, it was interesting to watch I, Robot for the first time on Friday, and not because I had particularly wanted to, but because Steve had to for the SciFi class he's taking. Some of the faults that had kept me away from it were true, such as the obvious and annoying product placement and a not-terribly-good performance by Will Smith, but others weren't. For example, although the plot didn't follow any story contained in the book, there are similarities to another Asimov short story - Robot Dreams, although the similarity is brief (and Susan Calvin is decidedly more badass in the short story than in the movie). The movie also explores the potential consequences of the Three Laws, keeping it in line with Asimov's stories.

I really enjoyed the special effects, though, especially the look of the robots (I prefer the NS-4-style robots to the NS-5s). There was some very nice cinematography, and everything had a nice, not-too-distant future look and feel to it.

Overall, I probably wouldn't watch this movie again on my own, but I wouldn't object to seeing it again.
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