I, Robot (2004)


Director:  Alex Proyas
Cast:  Will SmithBridget MoynahanAlan Tudyk, James Cromwell, Bruce Greenwood
Plot:  In the year 2035, a techno-phobic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.

Genre:  Action / Sci-Fi / Thriller

Awards:  Nom. for 1 Oscar - Best Visual Effects
Runtime:  115min
Rating:  PG for intense stylized action, and some brief partial nudity.


Every now and then, a film like I, Robot pops up amongst the heavy dose of B-grade sci-fi thrillers Hollywood seems to churn out by the dozens annually.  And that brings a positive grin to any fatigue-stretched viewer whom is long suffering under the steady spell of Hollywood's manipulation.  I, Robot is a film made with entertainment in mind, but in addition to that, it offers some intellectual depth on themes like Man versus technology, and how devastating it can become when Man becomes inferior to the very thing he creates.

The Oscar-nominated visual effects are honestly breathtaking, though on some occasions, indulgent.  But they never distract us from the focal point of the story. Will Smith lends a likable aura to a working-class hero trying to save the day just like Tom Cruise in Spielberg's Minority Report.  In fact, both highly-rated films showcase in meticulous detail the development of cities a few decades from now. Although Minority Report has a darker, menacing mood, I, Robot captures closely certain aspects of the former such as the bluish photography, and the remarkable futuristic vision.

I, Robot has its own moments of thrills, and action.  Fortunately, it's not outrageous (like The Island).  In fact, I respect Alex Proyas' work because it's deserving of that.  While this is not a groundbreaking film in any way, it will likely surpass most viewers' expectations.  It's a neat, and tidy film that should open the door for more of such projects in the near future.  Hollywood likes to think messy, and noisy, but thankfully I, Robot restores some hope in us that they are also capable of producing rewarding films.  Well-recommended.

GRADE: A- (8.5/10 or 4 stars)

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