I, Robot

02/22/2017 20:20

Film: I, Robot

Year: 2004

Director: Alex Proyas

Writer: Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman

Starring: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan and Bruce Greenwood



This film takes place in Chicago in the year 2035. Robots are now something that everyone has and it makes lives much easier. We are informed that they have to live by three laws. The 1st is they cannot hurt humans, the 2nd states they must obey orders given by humans, unless it conflicts with the first law and the 3rd states they must protect their own existence, unless it conflicts with the first two laws.

Next we meet our main character, played by Will Smith. He is resistant to new technology. He uses a stereo with a remote control instead of voice activated. We see that there is something wrong with his left arm as well.

We see that cars drive themselves with an auto pilot, but Smith still likes to drive manually when he can. Smith loves his grandmother’s sweet potato pie, as he eats some when he gets up and then goes to visit her where he eats more; she is played by Adrian Ricard.

On the way to work, he sees a robot running with a purse. Smith chases after it and he jumps on top. The robot did not obey his commands and this is when we learn that Smith is a cop. The robots are made to look like humans. The robot gets up to apologize, even though he was not stealing the purse. His owner needed her inhaler and she forgot it. He was bringing it to her and she scolds Smith for trying to stop him.

At the precinct, we meet Smith’s boss, played by Chi McBride. He knows that Smith is fearful of technology and scolds him for attacking the robot. He is ribbed by his fellow officers as well. Smith is then given a job. He needs to go check out a suicide by a doctor. He was asked specifically to respond to this tragedy.

The doctor is played by James Cromwell. There is a hologram set-up and it answers some of his questions, but not all of them. We also see that Smith knew Cromwell previously. Smith then meets with the head of this company, which makes the robots that everyone uses. This man is played by Bruce Greenwood. He is pretty tight lipped speaking with Smith and thinks what happened is horrible. He doesn’t know why Cromwell did it. Greenwood does have the best interest in mind for the company though.

Smith then meets with a woman who works on the robots with Cromwell, she is played by Bridget Moynahan. She is actually the reason they look like people. Smith immediately thinks that a robot killed him. The glass in his office is safety glass and an older man would be unable to break it. Moynahan immediately rebuffs this. They end up finding a robot that was hiding in some loose parts. This robot is played by Alan Tudyk. He fights back against Smith and flees through a window. Smith does shoot it though. Moynahan tells him that he would go to somewhere to repair himself.

They end up finding him a nearby robot factory. Smith called in back-up, which Moynahan tells him he would not need. It turns out that he did. Tudyk is taken into custody. Smith convinces McBride to let him interrogate him and he reluctantly agrees. This is when Smith realizes that Tudyk is different and he is even more suspicious of him. Greenwood then shows up and cuts it short.

Against the wishes of McBride, Smith continues to look into this. He goes to the house of Cromwell. There is a demo-robot outside and it is slated to destroy the house the following morning at 8 am. He goes inside to investigate. He notices that the house looks like it has not been lived in for sometime and that there is a beam of light that is for surveillance. The demo-robot’s information gets changed to destroying the house at 8 pm. It goes about doing so with Smith inside. He narrowly escapes.

Smith tries to tell Moynahan about what happened and she still doesn’t believe it. The 3 laws would prevent this. Smith shows more distrust with the robots and it becomes a problem with McBride. Moynahan learns that Tudyk is different from the other robots and she starts to see that maybe Smith is right. Greenwood is just worried about the backlash of what Smith is doing and tries to stop him from hurting his company.

Is Smith right? Are the robots violating the three laws? Is Tudyk the key? What is Cromwell trying to show to Smith? If the robots revolt, can they be stopped? Why is Smith so afraid of these robots and technology?

I have to say that I personally felt this film was a more teenage friendly Terminator. I think the acting is good, especially with Tudyk as the main robot. I think that the action in this film is good for the most part as well. My biggest issue is though is some of the action is unrealistic. I know that the robots are going to perform feats that people cannot, but there are some things that Smith does that he should be able to as well. I really think that the story, even though it isn’t original to me, is still quite interesting.

My other issues though are some of the clinches. I feel like every film that is in the future, our main character has nostalgia for the past. Today we see people who embrace the future, but in our future it seems that everyone wants to go back to the way it is now. I am pointing it out with this film, only because I have seen it a lot throughout other movies. As stated though, this film does have a good concept, but it is something I’ve seen before as well.

This is being added to the horror film research, because the concept of this is scary. I have pointed out that this is like the film Terminator. The concept behind both films is very terrifying, that we create technology that gets too smart and then begins to take over. Now this film it is stopped, but the next logically step if they would have succeed would be world domination.

With that said, I would give this film a viewing. The acting for the most part is good. You know what you’ll get from Smith in a sci-fi, action thriller. The best part though was Tudyk in his role as the robot Sonny. The film has a good concept and the mystery unfolds nicely. I do like that Smith pieces this film together by what people say to him, giving him a new perspective. As stated as well, this is a more teenage friendly Terminator. Not the best film out there, but definitely enjoyable.


My Rating: 7 out of 10