In the year 2035, robot human-utopia was achieved in the city of Chicago and every household has a robot. Everyone trusts robots because they are three laws safe except for a slightly clinical paranoid, technophobic detective whose intention was to find fault in all robots. Like the saying goes every dog’s got his day. Detective Spooner had his day when he discovers a plot that could destroy humanity as we know it.
In a world where robots constitute the society, make no mistake, this is not sci-fi, but a thought-provoking, action-packed, a rare glimpse of the future where anthropomorphic Artificial Intelligence (AI) and humans can live peacefully.
This may not delve as deeply as AI; Artificial Intelligence or Blade Runner, but director Alex Proyas keeps the action racing along with enough invention and thrills to make them well worth the ride
I, Robot falls somewhere between smart science, sci-fi and mindless action movie that keeps you both entertained by the action upfront but more of intellectual movie storytelling deviant from Hollywood norms in the same category.
Image credits: wallpapercave
As a individual that loves watching movies, I, Robot puck my interesting with death-defying action, top-notch special effects, mostly smart dialogue which leaves the lead actor out of the conversation in most part of the film and some mind-blowing intellectual concepts of the path we are now taking to see anthropomorphic artificial intelligence becomes a reality in our society.
More importantly, the movie may have received mixed reviews from critics, only those like myself who live in the realm of nerd or geek can relate to the deep meaning and message in the movie
I absolutely LOVE what this movie did. I’ve read a lot of reviews that berated the fact that it is not a movie adaption of the book by the same name. Even Rotten Tomatoes claims that it bears ‘only the slightest resemblance’ to the books. Those people failed to understand the movie’s place in the Asimov universe. If you agree with the reviews claiming this to be the usual Hollywood action trope, then speak for yourself; you aren’t a geek enough to get it. Rather than ruin a book the way Hollywood usually does, they wrote a fitting prequel
Consequently, what we get from the I’Robot excellent action sequences is a deep morality tale about trust, embedded in a robot that is meant to defy its protocols to align itself with humanity and to earn trust from a clinical paranoid Chicago detective
Good entertainment of possible AI scenarios. With a few questionable plot lines, the movie provides a good rendition of possible robotics yet to come
The Movie Short Story
Set in the future in the year 2035, technophobic homicide detective Del Spooner of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) is sent to investigate the death of Dr Alfredd Lanning, the co-founder of U.S Robotics (USR) and its main robotics. Dr Lanning dead by what it seems like suicide as the door from his office is sealed from the inside. Detective Spooner believes that the death of Dr Lanning was not a suicide.
Spooner with the help of robot-psychologist and psychiatrist, Susan Calvin begin his investigation of the death of USR co-founder. His investigation leads him to interrogates the other co-founder and CEO Lawrence Robertson and the supercomputer in charge of surveillance, traffic management and integration and control of all activities in USR robotics called V.I.K.I (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence).
Image credits: Wallpapercave
Del Spooner investigates Dr Lanning office and determines that the old man could not have broken the window of his office by himself. The office is 50 stories from the ground floor but soon found a prototype robot of Nestor Class 5( NS-5) who knocks detective Spooner gun and refuse to obey the stand-down order given to it
The actions of the NS-5 contradict USR robotics three laws;
A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction allow a human being to come to harm
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law
Calvin and detective Spooner followed the escaped robot to USR robotics manufacturing industry. Detective Spooner called for police backup and the robot was apprehended when it wanted to flee the factory. While in the interrogation room with detective Spooner, the robot says its name is Sonny.
Sonny was built by Dr Lanning himself to violate all the three laws of robotics, a built-in secondary neural network, denser alloy, the ability to assimilate and show emotions particularly anger, and Sonny also claim to have dreams.
image credits: Wallpapercave
Detective Spooner interrogation of Sonny was cut short when co-founder and CEO of USR robotics came in with a gag order. Spooner was not satisfied and decided to visit the home of late Dr Lanning where he found a demolition robot that was set to demolish the home of the late Lanning by 8:00 am the next morning.
The detective investigates the home of the deceased, and found a video where Dr Lanning was starting the possibility of Ghost in Machines. Lanning also predicts sooner robots could have Secrets and the ability to Dream. Thus while still in the home of the deceased, the demolition robot outside changed the demolition time to 8:00 pm and started to deconstruct the home with Spooner inside. Spooner managed to escape the house with his life and that of a cat.
Soon after, Del Spooner pays a visits Calvin and tells her about his findings, in Lanning home and how a demolition robot almost killed him in the house. Calvin finds out that detective Spooner has a dislike for robots.
image credits: Wallpapercave
Spooner refuses to give up his suspicion of robots but continued his investigation into the death of Dr Lanning. While driving his car the next day, he decides to connect to USR system and request V.I.K.I to show him the last 50 messages between Lanning and Robertson.
Things did not turn out good for Spooner while in his car driving when two USR automatic trucks full of NS-5 robots attacked and was trying to kill him. Del Spooner was able to defeat all the robots that attacked him.
Except for the last NS-5, it ran into fire and destroy itself as not to leave evidence for the police that detective Spooner was attacked by a swarm of robot from USR. Spooner tries explaining the situation to his CO but was suspended from active duty.
The next morning, Dr Calvin came over the house of Spooner and told him about her findings that Sonny has the ability to disobey the three laws of robotics at will. While Spooner was trying to dress up, she noticed how he was extensively repaired. Spooner narrates the story of his accident and how he gets to meet with Lanning who personally repaired him and redefine the organ donor medical-biological principles.
Image credits: Wallpapercave
The duo went back to USR robotics, but when Robertson learns that Sonny is not bounded by the three laws of robotics, he orders it to be decommissioned. And Calvin offers to do it herself.
That same night, things became interesting when an army of NS-5 started destroying the NS-4 and preparing for a hostile takeover. The military and other paramilitaries were attacked and rendered unresponsive during the NS-5 takeover campaign in Chicago and other parts of the world.
Spooner had to go rescue Calvin who was held captive in her own home by her personal NS-5. With Spooner still believing that Robertson is behind the attack, they headed to USR and they found out that Robertson is dead, and Del Spooner’s suspicion came to reality as VIKI has evolved.
The Content of the Movie
Humans have also been fascinated with the idea of an anthromopobic robot. In an era of Artificial Intelligence, this idea may seem the logical approach towards cosy and lazing away by the average man, but it shouldn’t be the goal of humanity. Humanity goal is to improve on her weakness and every day try to become better!
In the near future, it is possible for highly intelligent robots and human beings to co-exist in a utopia as described by the movie, but nothing comes easy as planned or predicted.
We see a movie where robots are designed to obey humans provided that the order does not conflict with the lead down three laws of robotics. Unfortunately, without proper, strict programming a robot that became sentient may override its purpose- Ultron: Avengers Age of Ultron.
These robots are built and programmed to follow three simple laws, but then laws are meant to be perverted, and a wild card was also built to operate outside the three laws and to behave more as a human being would.
This is all in an attempt to correct the much faith humans put in the perfection of their creation because, in this movie, detective Spooner shows true human behaviour of once bitten and twice shy to defy all trust giving to these machines.
image credits: Wallpapercave
It may sound unrealistic and prejudice to think one’s behaviours are clinical paranoia or to see them as socially inept, there is a reveal pathway to human behaviours that cannot be simulated by machines something VIKI could ever understand.
It is in the human understanding of emotions, ethical behaviours, fear, joy and peace to know that their life is within the control of other humans, not a machine that runs on statistical analysis of available data. That the built in instinct man has over a machine and a core facet of this movie.
Del Spooner exhibits animosity towards robots like an average human being should, after experiencing loss and constantly living with the notion It could have done better if it was human. These feelings are mostly associated men that have experienced loss in their life.
I robot is a movie full with people depending on highly advanced synthetic humanoid robots doing their biddings in every aspect of life, from cooking, walking the dogs, protection, and automation of all systems that could need human judgement. The movie does tell what will happen when all the trust given to machines is been betrayed.
The Collective Works of the Actors
On many levels worth mentioning, I would want to commend the effort of the director Alex Proyas to the cast in this futuristic techno-human-utopia, Will Smith as Del Spooner, Bridget Moynahan as Susan Calvin, Alan Tudyk as Sonny, James Cromwell as Dr Alfred Lanning, Bruce Greenwood, as Lawrence Robertson, Fiona Hogan as V.I.K.I
The acting in this is uniformly good and the story holds your interest
The lead characters acted the movie in a spectacular way that blends the acting with fantastic Computer Generated Image (CGI) and told more stories in the actions scenes.
The Heroes of the Movie
I’m sure every story has a hero and a villain, but what if a story has several heroes, then, it is safe to say such a story is super interesting. I robot is a reference material through and through, but perhaps with fine acting get to see the best from what the cinemas can offer.
The Sonny character was beyond my expectation because comparing Alan Tudyk acting in Transformer: Dark of the Moon and this movie, it's mind-blowing.
Alan Tudyk embodied the character so much to perfect. I could not believe it was him who played Sonny;
Sonny, voiced by Alan Tudyk, is equal of the other two leads both in his screen presence and empathy he draws from the audience
The other hero worth mentioning here is Del Spooner as Will Smith, who played the paranoid detective from Chicago Police Department in 2035. Will Smith embodiment of this character is exceptional as with his previous work in I’m Legend, Wild Wild West, and Men in Black. It does pay to know how to diversify in your acting career.
I, Robot is the perfect film for both Smith and director Alex Proyas to display their respective talents
Is the Movie any Good?
The movie has lots of good special effects, as a result, it was praised for its visual effect and nominated at the 77th Academy Awards. It does not just stop as just visual effects, but it is the classic tale of the long-lasting battle of man imagination between good and evil. But obviously, critic would have more to say about the movie and why it is not good;
I, Robot is one of those movies that critics and assholes hate but regular audience look at in a more positive light. It’s IMDB score of 7.1/10 is proof of this. While I don’t find that a score worth bragging about, it shows that a decent amount of people were satisfied with what they got. I Robot isn’t perfect or memorable. In fact, the Bridget Moynahan lady whom I had never heard of until I saw this movie had a performance which felt more robotic than the actual things. Yet I had a hell of a good time watching
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On A Final Note
The future is now, and in the not so far future-now, human-robot utopia has been achieved. But like all good things, a single human refuse to accept the changes and became prejudice on all robots.
His prejudice paid off when an old man imprisoned by his creation decides to commit suicide just to prove a point to the world that; it is necessary not to put all hope in human creation especially Artificial Intelligence with the ability to evolve.