Movie Review: I, Robot

My wife had recently read the short stories that spawned this movie, so as soon as the trailers started for it a few months back we were set to see it. 

I, Robot” is set in our future (2035 to be exact) when robots are integrated into our lives.  They perform all sorts of tasks for us, like garbage collection, walking dogs, baby sitters, etc.  They are considered excellent resources and pretty much everyone trusts them to do their jobs.  Well, “pretty much everyone”.  A homicide detective named Spooner doesn’t really trust robots, and is constantly seeing the “evil” in them.  This despite the fact that the robots are all programmed with the Three Laws of robotics:

  1. A robot can not harm a human being through action or inaction.
  2. A robot must obey a human being unless it conflicts with law 1.
  3. A robot must attempt to preserve itself unless doing so conflicts with law 1 or 2.

Within these laws lies the crux of the movie.  A robot is suspected (well, by Spooner anyway) of committing murder despite the three laws.  The movie is pretty much the discovery of why the robot would do so, and leads to something more sinister and thought provoking than most of the movies I’ve seen lately.  The logic of the main “bad guy” is actually pretty sound, which gets you to thinking about the fate of our race.

The special effects were decent, but there were a few times that I just knew it was fake.  Usually, good special effects look really good the first time you see them, but on subsequent viewings you start to see some of the flaws or inconsistencies (such as slower moving background, blurred edges of the effect, etc.).  I caught a few of these in the first viewing though.  Some of the technology of the future was great!  The Parking Garage was especially cool.  Valet parking for everyone!

The robots were very cool as well.  Maybe someday we will grow beyond the QRIO (and AIBO) and finally get robots that are useful in our every day lives.  I mean, with the Roomba out now, the sky is the limit, right? 

Rating: 3 out of 5

Recommendation: Good action flick.  Will Smith plays the same character he does in 90% of his movies.