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I, Robot

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Went to this by myself.  It's been forever since I read any of the stories.   Probably jr high.  I think the movie is a combination of two or three.   It was clear fom the previews that the plot veered pretty quickly away from any of the stories.  But I generally like Will Smith, so I decided to go ahead and give it a chance.

I recognized one story, where they were trying to find one deviant robot in a room of standard robots.  They changed the trick, though.  It was just a small bit in the movie.

There were a few plot devices that bugged me.

When they finally capture the robot, I thought the emotion he showed was a bit much.

The sparkling light strip running everywhere was overly complicated.  Similarly, the "nanobots" to kill the robots was also pretty baldly a device to inject "drama."

I also didn't like the vehicles they used to transport the robots.  They didn't seem very space efficient.  And I didn't like how they could run sideways at high speed.  There's just no need for that.  It was too much of a stretch.  And the battle he had with the robots was another case where all they had to was swarm him and they win.  Instead, they behaved too human and weren't coordinated as a group, so he was able to escape.

I was also struck by the free replacement of older robots with newer ones.   Obviously, ridiculously expensive and totally unnecessary.  As with TVs, stereos, computers, cars, etc, older models can be at least moderately useful for a very long time past their prime as the primary device.  But that led to the shanty town of older robots, which is another silly extravagance.  But that ended up being another plot device, which in another context I would have really liked.

And on and on.  There were just too many convoluted plot devices.  Things in the story that were just too complicated for me to accept.  I know that Jean and a few other people will call me too picky.  But I can't help the fact that these sorts of things just keep jumping out at me as incorrect.

On the positive side, the movie was certainly pretty.  The graphics were incredible, and the faux-futuristic smooth lines and light, airy lighting fit what I remember of the tone set in the original stories.  Of course, Will Smith had some fun bits, and the woman who played Dr. Calvin was pretty.  They touched on some common science fiction moral dilemmas.  But of course they abandoned them for the Hollyweird action ending.

High points:
Graphics and cinematography
Touched on how we should treat AI
Touched on "advanced intelligence" "taking care" of mankind
Will Smith was fun
Dr. Calvin was pretty
Low points:
Several convoluted plot devices
Just superficially touched the moral dilemmas

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Pay Per View.  Only had tidbits from the original stories.  Okay action movie, but a bit convoluted in many places.

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Last modified: October 12, 2004
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