I, ROBOT (film)

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I, Robot. Alex Proyas, dir. Isaac Asimov, short story collection ("suggested by"—and not just I, Robot). Jeff Vintar, screen story. Akiva Goldsman, script. USA: 20th Century Fox, Davis Entertainment, Laurence Mark Productions, Canlaws Productions, Overbrook Entertainment, prod. / 20th Century Fox and others, dist. (see IMDb for details), 2004. Patrick Tatopoulos, prod. design. Will Smith, star, exec. prod. (one of three).

An Asimovian detective story plus shoot-em-up, asking how a robot could kill a human. See for The Three Laws of Robotics, plus "the Zeroth Law" that can supersede the original three when an entity with a positronic brain perceives humanity (human survival) threatened—and/or goes cybernetically insane and deludes it/herself into such perception. Note imaging of robots on a continuum from a huge, threatening demolition device, through high-tech road-accident clean-up machines, to very elegant forms that can suggest simultaneously or in sequence humans, insects, and/or reptiles. Note also a somewhat surprising prosthetic arm and the unsurprising valuing of warm feelings over cold reason (in machines, Dr. Susan Calvin, and others). Also features computer surveillance and a computer-takeover motif, with the final disconnection performed by nanotechnology: cf. and, for the disconnection sequence, definitely contrast "death" of HAL in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (film). Suggestive, if hardly courageous, on issues of robot personhood, rights, and rebellion (but CAUTION: I, Robot may be a bit sexist on gender of proper revolutionary leadership [one might also wonder about kid-bashing, granny-sentimentalizing, and the thematics of a blue-eyed white robot in-frame with an African-American cop]). See under Fiction, I. Asimov's robot novels, and J. Williamson's "Humanoids" stories; see under Literary Criticism, M. P. Esmonde, "From Little Buddy to Big Brother"—for frequent preference of human-size machines or smaller over large machines. Lewis Murphy on the IAFA ListServ correctly notes "similarity to elements of COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT in the computer's," V.I.K.I.'s "reasoning near the end of" I, Robot.