I, Robot: A Movie Review that's 3 Laws (and Spoiler) Safe!
A movie review by Rob Carr
Thanks to Eide's Entertainment I got to see I, Robot tonight. As someone who grew up with Isaac Asimov's robot stories, I've come to expect a mystery based on the implications of the 3 Laws of Robotics (or the lack of one or part of one of those laws), the "Frankenstein Complex," and Dr. Susan Calvin. I was afraid that the movie might miss out on this, especially since it's not a direct adaptation of the book, but "inspired" by the Good Doctor Asimov.
The movie met my expectations and more. Will Smith, whom we all know as an overconfident smart@$$ character from such movies as "Independence Day" and the two "Men in Black" movies, played a somewhat less confident and far less wisecracking character. It was a welcome change to see him less confident. Yeah, some of the stunts were a little absurd (am I the only one thinking of Gemini 8 at one point in the movie?) but that's to be expected from this type of movie. Bridget Moynahan was far too young to be the Susan Calvin I remember, but that's also to be expected in this type of movie. James Cromwell (whom you'll all remember from Star Trek: First Contact and Enterprise's "Broken Bow" episode as Dr. Zefram Cochrane) gave a flat performance - but that's actually a complement. I doubt anyone will recognize Wash from "Firefly" as an important robot in the story.
It's customary to comment on how well the CGI was done. I liked it, but then again, I'm not hypercritical on something like that. I did wonder a little bit about center of balance as some of the robots walked, but mostly I didn't think about it at all, which to me is the goal of CGI. I did wonder about children's fingers getting caught in some of the open gaps on the robot's bodies. Real world models would have a bit more covering, one would think. But that's being picky.
I have no memory of the soundtrack music. That in and of itself might say something. I'm a musician, but it just didn't register.
I figured out some clues, missed some others, and was surprised several times in the movie. There were a lot of clues - this isn't one of those mysteries where the answer is pulled out of the writer's a...out of thin air.
I'm not a complete continuity freak, so I can't tell if the movie violated any of Asimov's universe, but from what I can remember, it fits pretty well (if you ignore Dr. Calvin's age) and might even explain a few things.
Given that even some of the geeks in the audience were surprised to find out that there was a book of stories just like the movie, I think the movie will hopefully bring Asimov's stories to a new generation.
I liked "I, Robot. It's worth seeing, especially if you 've already seen Spider-Man 2 at least once. It's a pretty good (though not great) movie.
Having read Slashdot for a while, I know that there are folks out there who will despise this movie because it's not exactly like the book. Others will hate the movie or worship it, and loads of people are going to savage this review. You know what? That's fine with me. I had fun with this movie, had a nice date with my wife, and it didn't cost anything. I even had fun typing up this review. You're allowed to be different and to agree or disagree with me. Heck, that's a big chunk of what makes the world fun. Interestingly, it's even a small point in the movie. I'd say more, but that would be telling."