Monday, August 02, 2004

I, Robot

You know that urban legend where some clueless woman buys a car with cruise control, thinking that it makes the car drive itself, so she turns it on while driving down the freeway at 70 miles an hour and climbs into the backseat? And the car crashes and she dies? I, Robot is the cinematic equivalent -- a blockbuster on auto-pilot, left without direction, which then crashes and burns. Coming from director Alex Proyas (who also blessed us with the terminally boring Dark City), this isn't much of a surprise. Will Smith tries, though, he really does, but can't do much in the whole Martin-Riggs-in-the-21st-Century vein as Det. Spooner. While never quite descending to a Battlefield Earth-level disaster, I, Robot is a totally flat and uninspiring movie, complete with the most obvious "surprise" villain in recent memory and half-hearted attempts at "social commentary" to make fun of those of us who expected the movie to have a brain. According to a book I have, Harlan Ellison wrote a screenplay based on Asimov's book (which "suggested" this film) -- think how much better that would have been.

Rating: *1/2

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