Projections - Movie Reviews

I, Robot
i, Robot
Starring Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Alan Tudyk, James Cromwell,
Bruce Greenwood, Adrian L. Ricard, Chi McBride

Will Smith stars as Police Detective Del Spooner in this futuristic sci-fi thriller based on an Isaac Asimov book, set in 2035 in Chicago. In the future, robots are everywhere and have taken on jobs that make human lives easier. They do chores such as walking the dog, mowing the lawn and dropping off FedEx packages.

There are three laws that govern the robots which were developed by their creator Dr. Lanning (James Cromwell), the most important of the three laws: robots must never harm a human being. As soon as the laws are scrolled out on the screen, you know it's only a matter of time before a human is hurt.

Detective Spooner is called to a huge skyscraper that houses the U.S. Robotics Corporation to investigate the death of a scientist, the robot creator Dr. Lanning. His body is found in the lobby after falling from his very high office balcony. The CEO thinks it was suicide, but Spooner thinks it was murder by a sinister robot run amok.

Spooner has a preconceived suspicion (from past experience) of anything robotic despite urgings to the contrary from Dr. Susan Calvin (Bridget Monnahan) whose job is to make robots look and act more human (she is their shrink, he remains un-willing to trust them).

That is no easy task since the robots look like aluminum stick figures with faces. They’re amiable working machines for the most part, but there’s one called Sonny, that stands out from the rest, and Spooner is on his case.

The story is fairly uncomplicated and moves along swiftly. Smith, who is always capable, has his share of chase scenes to liven things up. He speeds through streets on his motorcycle and tries to keep his balance while shooting from perilous heights.

For a futuristic adventure, there’s little special about the sets, other than a cool concept for parking cars that has them hanging on a veridical hook like enormous sides of beef. There’s even less need for hi-tech gadgets as Spooner has a penchant for old fashioned styles. He fancies the 2004 style of Converse sneakers and an outmoded cycle that uses gasoline no-less.

The CGI effects are pretty good, and the facial expressions of Sonny match his voice produced by Alan Tudyk.

If you’re a fan of Asimov, you’ll probably enjoy I Robot, but it’s not one of the best.
I, Robot

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