Sci-Fi

I, ROBOT

Film Four · Sci-Fi · 17 Sep 2010 · by: Film 4

Set just three decades in the future, Alex Proyas's all-action science fiction film is inspired by Isaac Asimov's 1950s short story. The science of robotics is so advanced that humanoid-looking servants have been developed, ready to obey any command from a human. When the chief designer of US Robotics, the biggest manufacturer of this new brand, is found dead in the company's atrium after a fall from the upper floor, it has all the hallmarks of suicide, and Chicago cop Del Spooner (Will Smith) is assigned to the case. But, because of a previous trauma, Spooner is a technophobe and doesn't believe that all robots are harmless. Despite opposition from both his superiors and the company, he investigates further and soon his suspicions centre on one robot, Sonny (voiced by Alan Tudyk). Is "he" one of an army of conscious, violent robots ready to challenge their human masters?

Proyas, who directed the acclaimed The Crow and Dark City , brings an equally dark vision to this film, even though many of the scenes are set in the bright glare of a superb CGI-created Chicago (the technological advances are assumed rather than flaunted and cops still use good old-fashioned guns rather than laser-firing phasers). Smith carries his first major all-action film lead superbly while Alan Tudyk "as" Sonny (the robot was created using the same techniques that created Gollum in Lord of the Rings ) is shown sympathetically while also as chillingly non-human. Bridget Moynahan as Susan Calvin, a psychologist who dismisses Smith's theories before realising there may be truth in them, and Bruce Greenwood as Lawrence Robertson, the sinister head of US Robotics, head the excellent supporting cast in the fast-moving thriller.

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