Will Smith has fought virtually every kind of villain screenwriters can create. Among the villains he has fought are drug dealers (Bad Boys), nefarious evil scientists (Wild, Wild West), and intelligent, but dangerous aliens (Men in Black and Independence Day). It was only a matter of time before robotic enemies would enter his sphere. In honor of the holiday, this column reviewed his blockbuster “Independence Day” yesterday. Today, we will consider another of his summer escapism movie contributions, 2004’s “I, Robot.”
The thoughtful science fiction piece is set in a future where robots have been fully incorporated into the day-to-day life of human beings. Their tasks are all centered on advancing the needs of the human race, and they are purportedly hard-wired to never hurt a person. Detective Del Spooner (played by Smith) seems to be the only person who does not like robots. Because of their role in a tragic accident where he nearly died, Del does not trust them. When a respected scientist (played by James Cromwell) is found dead, Del suspects that a robot, Sonny (played by Alan Tudyk), may be responsible.
“I, Robot” is directed by Alex Proyas. Like most of his other films, he makes this movie visually stunning. The robots, in particular, are very well done. We see that there are many of them, and they often have different looks. The movie earned an Academy Award nomination for its special effects.
Proyas does an effective job filming action scenes. An example is a scene where robots in a truck jump on Del’s car and attack him as he is driving. This scene, like several others, is quite exciting.
Will Smith is very strong as Del. He is cynical, but he also has a sense of humor. Alan Tudyk is also impressive as Sonny. He evokes the audience’s sympathy, even though he is a machine. Another good performance is by Bridget Moynahan, who plays Susan, a psychologist who works with Del on the investigation.
“I, Robot” is a very solid choice for fans of science fiction.