Incredibly derivative

Dr Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) and Del Spooner (Will Smith) have a brush with authority

Dr Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) and Del Spooner (Will Smith) have a brush with authority  

I Robot (English)

Cast: Will Smith, Bridgete


Director: Alex Proyas

IT IS official, Alex Proyas, the patron saint of cool, quirky mind-altering films has sold out. One wonders what were the pressures on the man to make this thriller by numbers. On the one hand you had the brilliantly conceptualised Dark City, on the other you have this very mediocre special effects laden cop and killer affair.

Movies like the Terminator series and Matrix have warned us time and again about the grief we would come to if we let machines into our lives. For all those who did not get it here comes yet another movie to tell us the same thing.

It is Chicago 2035 and robots are part of our daily existence to deliver couriers, empty the garbage, cook and clean and even walk the dogs. There is the evil conglomerate US Robotics (you just know it is evil from the architecture and the scenery chewing CEO. There is the good scientist, the father of USR, Alfred Lanning. And then there is the cop with the troubled history Homicide detective Del Spooner.

When Lanning is found dead in the foyer of USR, all believe it is suicide except for Spooner who feels there is a robotic hand involved in the death of the good doctor. Everyone naturally believes Spooner is unnecessarily paranoid and picking on the blue-eyed cutie robot Sonny. There is an element of inverse racism here.

When no one listens to the hero, the bad-movie handbook advocates the use of someone on the inside who can double up as love interest as well. So here there is Dr Susan Calvin, whose job is to make the robots more human, who helps Spooner save the world amidst chases and explosions. The movie is doubly disappointing because of its terribly derivative nature.

When you are weak on content, at least if the film delivered on style, it could have been forgiven but here the cityscape looks out of Minority Report while Sonny has been brought to life using the same technique as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies. Will Smith is watchable as always as the wisecracking Spooner while Bridgete Moynahan looks wide eyed and moist eyed by turns as Susan.

And there is an element of irony of a movie about machines and programs taking over, stuffed with special effects. Move over Will Smith and Keanu Reeves, the CGI needs your fancy trailers!


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