Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Disc One: Commentary by director
Alex Proyas and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. Commentary by production
designer, editor, visual effects supervisors, associate producer,
Digital Domain animation supervisor and CG supervisors. Commentary
by composer Marco Beltrami. The Making of I, Robot. Gag reel.
Stills gallery; Trailers for Alien Vs Predator, 24 and Electra;
Disc Two: Day Out of Days: The I, Robot Production Diaries. Post
production; Sentient Machines: Robotic Behaviour; About Science
Fiction and Robots; The Filmmakers' Toolbox and Visual Effects;
Extended and deleted scenes; Easter eggs.
THE winning charisma of Will Smith, coupled with the dark vision
of director, Alex Proyas, make for a winning combination in I,
Robot, an intelligent science fiction thriller that consistently
manages to engage the brain, while also delivering everything
you would expect from a blockbuster.
Inspired by the classic short story collection, by Isaac Asimov,
the film is set in the year 2035, when robots are an everyday
part of life, cooking our food, emptying our bins, and looking
after our children, to name but a few things.
They are governed by the Three Laws of Robotics, which forbid
them from harming people in any way.
But when a brilliant scientist (played by James Cromwell) at
the company responsible for building the robots apparently commits
suicide, Detective Del Spooner (Smith) begins to suspect foul
play and his subsequent investigation leads to the unthinkable.
Spooner is a robot-sceptic, who continually questions the reliability
of the Three Laws. But then he has his own, deeply personal reasons
for not trusting them.
His suspicions are confirmed, however, when one such humanised
robot, named Sonny, attacks him and then tries to escape during
the course of his inquiry. For Sonny, it seems, has been programmed
to ignore the Three Laws, and is one of a new range of robots
that are due to be placed in every home in the next few days.
It is up to Spooner, with the help
of Bridget Moynahan’s robot psychologist, to convince the
authorities of his beliefs before mankind falls prey to the rise
of the machines.
I, Robot may lack a certain originality, given that it feels
comprised of several science fiction movies, but it compensates
by offering a compelling lead performance from Smith, as well
as a visually distinctive style that makes full use of Proyas’
much-heralded visionary prowess (he also directed The Crow and
As such, the film works on many levels, providing viewers with
an intelligent thriller, an intriguing ‘what if’ scenario,
a Summer blockbuster and an emotional human drama to boot.
Smith is much more low-key than usual, displaying more of the
pent-up frustration of his Enemy of the State persona than his
Bad Boys bravado, and his interaction
both with his fellow actors, and the machines, provide several
of the movie’s highlights, as opposed to the action.
When Spooner begins to rely on Sonny for help in solving the
investigation, the bond that is formed between them becomes surprisingly
touching, recalling other man-versus-machine relationships in
movies such as Blade Runner and Minority
And Sonny, himself, is a mind-boggling creation, a CGI-effect
(voiced by Alan Tudyk) that has to rate on a par with Gollum for
technical brilliance - so much so that audiences will believe
he/it is real.
Indeed, the only time that I, Robot is really found wanting is
during some of the more extravagant set pieces, which occasionally
feel too computer-generated and threaten to reduce the actors
to also-rans, or robots themselves.
But even then, Proyas manages to reign things in, refusing to
lose sight of the central conceit and staying true to the core
values that he spent the first third of the movie so meticulously
All of which makes I, Robot the surprise package of the Summer
so far; a film that surpasses its potential, to deliver an unexpectedly
intelligent joyride, as well as a worthy entry into the sci-fi