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View Full Version : The 'I, Robot' Review


Joe Matt
07-17-2004, 04:29 PM
At first this movie seemed like a waste. I mean, it looked, smelled, and even tasted like your average action flick with robotics, EVIL robots might I add. So today I went to go see 'I, Robot' with another robotics member to see firsthand what this movie is about, and like. And coming from a robotics nerd, I came away impressed.

First and foremost, the ideas and concepts of the 3 laws was illustrated very well, and wasn't just some vail over which the robots could just fight. Secondly, the ideas of what robots are, and where the thresh hold crosses from human to robot is discussed, as are the downfalls of robots, which, aren't what you expect.

I want this review to be more of a look and not a spoiler of the film. There is some action, but there is also a bit of thinking. It suffers from what I call 'The Matrix Effect', where at first it looks like a brainless action film, but in reality it's a good look at philosophical and technological ideas. I HIGHLY recommend people seeing this movie, even if your cup of tea isn't action movies. If there was one complaint, it would be the lack of explanation of somethings. And of course, the ending is a plot hole just waiting to be filled by a sequel, which I bet will be called 'I, too, Robot.'

4/5
Good- Just isn't brainless action flick, has smarts and questions things
Bad- Some things not explained to clearly
Ugly- None to think of.

Ryan M.
07-17-2004, 04:39 PM
Did you ever actually read Isacc Asimov's book, which this is supposedly based off of? Does it actually fit with it? The book is more a collection of short stories, with an interview that connects them together...

Joe Matt
07-17-2004, 07:20 PM
Did you ever actually read Isacc Asimov's book, which this is supposedly based off of? Does it actually fit with it? The book is more a collection of short stories, with an interview that connects them together...
Unfortuantly, no, not yet, but my friend did and did say that the movie isn't based on the book, but the ideas are there, just laced together better. He also said the movie did Asimov's book justice.

DCA Fan
07-17-2004, 09:08 PM
Yeah, the movie is "suggested" by Asimov's book, as stated in the credits. My review, posted on my Xanga:

I, Robot - movie, 4 stars
Ok, straight off, this was an awesome movie. I loved the graphics, and I especially loved the cinematography. The camera angles they used for some of the final scene shots were just amazing.

"I'm sorry, I'm allergic to bullsh*t."

Will Smith delivers a witty performance throughout, several of his one liners are destined to be classics. However, I did have a bit of a problem with his character, living in the "past" with Converses and having an unexplained association with a kid (the guy from Even Stevens) who seems nothing more than an excuse to shoot more robots. He apparently has "problems with heights" but later has no problem jumping 30 stories down a shaft with virtually nothing to hold on to.

"That IS the right question. Program terminated."

The movie did an excellent job of laying out clues as the viewer watches and allows the viewer to leave while still analyzing what happened in the bigger picture. "Sunny" aka the Robot has a very inexplicable change of heart from the beginning to the end. Incidentally, the voice actor for "Sunny" was excellent, one of the better voice overs that I have heard in a while.

"How long is it going to take?" "6 Minutes." "Somehow I don't think we have six minutes any more."

Particularly troubling in the film was a slowing near the end, an almost "why didn't they see that coming" situation. In addition, Hollywood decided to bastardize the film by providing nude scenes (though none too scandalous) as well as noted scenes where the filmmakers obviously were exploiting Will Smith's appeal to women, as if we didn't see that coming. I rather apprecieated the fact that no true "Hollywood romance" was developed between the characters, whether or not it was intelligence on the writers part or sheer incapability to actually come up with such a thing is rather irrelevant, only the fact that they didn't do it.

The film loses 1 point for the use of nude scenes and too many useless "bash-them-up" scenes.

"Somehow, 'I Told You So' just doesn't quite say it right now."

EddieMcD
07-17-2004, 11:06 PM
The movie did an excellent job of laying out clues as the viewer watches and allows the viewer to leave while still analyzing what happened in the bigger picture. "Sunny" aka the Robot has a very inexplicable change of heart from the beginning to the end. Incidentally, the voice actor for "Sunny" was excellent, one of the better voice overs that I have heard in a while.
Ahh yes, that was Firefly's Alan Tudyk, and he not only does the voice, but the acting as well (very similar to what Andy Serkis did with Gollum from LotR).

Anyhow, I'll at least be getting this on DVD. I've heard that fans of Asimov will hate it, while non-fans will enjoy it. We'll just have to see. FWIW, if anything, the action and CGI looks top notch.

Adam Y.
07-18-2004, 05:55 PM
Did you ever actually read Isacc Asimov's book, which this is supposedly based off of? Does it actually fit with it? The book is more a collection of short stories, with an interview that connects them together...
It is probably based off of all of them. The Nestors are the same robots that attempt to go homicidal in the book. Also, it appears that the whole premise of this movie is related to the very last story. The robots are in control and humans have no power to stop them.

Max Lobovsky
07-24-2004, 11:38 PM
I just saw it. It was... good. I was kind of expecting it to be worse, but it did put in a good bit of philosophy. One thing that I definitley hated (sorry DCA fan) was all the stupid one liners. I found the rest of the dialog to be pretty realistic, but the one liners thrown in everywhere really break everything up and generally weren't funny (though, I can see some jokes on Slashdot with the "that is the right quetion. program terminated." line).

Adam, I did read the book but it was quite a while ago so I don't remember the story you were referring to, but I do remember something from one of the last of the Foundation series (also by Asmiov) where a robot develops a 0th law. This law obviously superceded the other three and it said that a robot should do what it can to protect human society. This would obviously be equivalent to VIKI deciding to take over the world to run it better than humans do. There was a huge difference in these interpretations though. This highly socialistic idea was displayed as good in the Foundation novel, but the movie shows it as the opposite.

Overall, not bad.

Mike Ciance
08-07-2004, 07:49 PM
i know this is kinda late, but getting a review in the paper takes more time, especially for a weekly section, since you need to wait. here is my review. see what i think the sequel will be called :p

http://www.thnt.com/hnt/teenscene/story/0,2582,1019139,00.html

Scientist
08-14-2004, 09:05 PM
I don't like the fact that Hollywood usually makes futuristic types of technologies seem evil or dangerous. I think a robotic species would be pretty cool.

I envision a species of "Leutenant Datas" from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

karinka13
08-16-2004, 12:38 AM
I just saw it. It was... good. I was kind of expecting it to be worse, but it did put in a good bit of philosophy. One thing that I definitley hated (sorry DCA fan) was all the stupid one liners. I found the rest of the dialog to be pretty realistic, but the one liners thrown in everywhere really break everything up and generally weren't funny (though, I can see some jokes on Slashdot with the "that is the right quetion. program terminated." line).

I have to agree. I thought the movie was good, but the stupid one liners were a disappointment. I really liked the concept of the three laws. I didnt like the ending all that much, however, because it didnt make much sense to me. I probably missed something.