It’s time for another film review. Blah, blah, blah…opening paragraph…. So, “I, Robot” then:
I, Robot (2004)
I will pretty much watch Will Smith in anything these days. I think the guy’s a great actor and has a natural comedic timing too. I remember seeing “I, Robot” when it was released on DVD and thinking that it was a fantastic film. I was impressed by the visuals, the humour and the cast. However, years have passed since then and I have been battered by the sands of cynicism and age.
“What makes your robots so much goddamn better than human beings?”
The basic plot follows the story of future cop Del Spooner (Will Smith) and his paranoia about robots (which are now commonplace). It’s your standard conspiracy type film, really- just with a future setting. The thing that irritates me about the film as a whole is that it doesn’t seem to know who its target audience are. I’ll elaborate. The plot believes it is smarter than it is. So much so that when Dr. Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) says something supposedly clever, Spooner has to ask for a simple translation. This is clearly for all the slow-witted numbskulls out there who are just watching for all the pretty colours and loud bangs. It gets really annoying after a while. In fact, the whole film doesn’t seem to “gel” together all the different elements at all, giving the film a sort of disjointed effect. On one hand we have a big budget sci-fi actioner starring Will Smith and on the other hand we have a slow burning story about conspiracies and the human condition.
Next we have the infamous product placement. I don’t mind it per se but when films do it- whatever pays the bills an’ all that, but when it’s this obvious it grates. “Converse All-Stars Vintage 2004” is actually a line of dialogue. Shameless. I counted how many references there were to the shoes (i.e. every gratuitous shot, every line of dialogue etc) and there are 6. This works out at an average reference every 19.1 minutes. It is literally like watching a film and having some twat yell “BUY CONVERSE SHOES NOW!!” every 20 minutes or so.
“Thank you… you said someone, not something”
Don’t get me wrong though, I actually like this film. This isn’t me picking on bad parts of a bad film, this is me picking on bad parts that stop a good film from being great. The action is top-notch and I like the interplay between Spooner and Calvin. I love the character of Sonny most of all. Played by Alan “Some kind of God” Tudyk, he’s the main reason why I believe this film was capable of true greatness. He is just genuinely likeable. His lines give us a glimpse of the subtlety and insight mostly missing from the film.
So, “I, Robot” gets a solid: