I just sat down and watched I, Robot, the new Will Smith flick, which came out today on DVD.
Oh boy did I waste MY time.
(Stop here unless you want to read potential spoilers for ze flick).
I don’t quite know what I was expecting. I sort of thought it would be a lesser Minority Report, featuring, of course, robots (and not three folk swimming in a pool with no hair). But whereas Minority Report didn’t focus on the “futuristic” technology of its late 21st Century setting, I, Robot does – on everything: the “garage” that lifts and stacks cars like one might a box of crackers; the tiny little earpiece that makes todays cell phones look big and clunky; the auto-pilot feature on the vehicles. What made Minority Report so great was that it said “We’re a film set today, with tomorrow’s tech”, and didn’t care if you got to see a closeup of a “pulse shotgun” being pumped. In the case of I, Robot the F/X showboating is, to put it mildly, distracting.
I certainly wasn’t expecting a Matrix prequel, and yet that is exactly what this movie is, preaching the evils of relying too much on technology to run our lives. I suppose we can draw some appreciation that the bad guy at the end is a supercomputer; on the other hand, doesn’t the notion that a bunch of computers might someday say “These humans can’t be trusted” put a chill down all of our backs? But – really, haven’t we had these warnings so many times before? From The Twilight Zone to the aforementioned Matrix films, technology can’t be trusted, robots will obtain intelligence and turn on their masters — it’s an old theme, and not particularly well executed here.
I think what I was hoping to find was a good old fashioned mystery, in a sci-fi setting. Did the robot kill a human? Why? How did it overcome its programming? What are the legal and societal ramifications of this action?
Instead, its “I’m Will Smith, and I’m in a thong. Now, I’ll drive a motorcycle really fast and shoot some robots up.” There was also an exchange between Smith and Bridget Moynahan that seemed absolutely straight out of Bad Boys, and it went something like this: “You shot that thing off me with your eyes closed? Next time you shoot, you look and you aim! That’s what I’m talking about!”
Give me a BREAK, as I gave you a break by watching this so YOU don’t have to!