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I Robot (Collector's Two Disc Edition) [DVD] 
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Special effects-laden sci-fi action thriller starring Will Smith, set in a near-future in which robots have become a vital component of human beings' everyday lives. Although the technology of the robots has become more and more advanced, they are all pre-programmed to always obey humans and under no circumstances to harm them. So when robot scientist Dr Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell) is murdered and a humanoid robot is implicated, the authorities are extremely worried: if the robots can overcome the basic moral principle of their existence, what's to stop them taking over the world? Robot-hating Chicago Police Detective John Spooner (Smith) is assigned to investigate this alarming case...
As paranoid cop Del Spooner, Will Smith displays both his trademark quips and some impressive pectoral muscles in I, Robot. Only Spooner suspects that the robots that provide the near future with menial labor are going to turn on mankind--he's just not sure how. When a leading roboticist dies suspiciously, Spooner pursues a trail that may prove his suspicions. Don't expect much of a connection to Isaac Asimov's classic science fiction stories; I, Robot, the action movie, isn't prepared for any ruminations on the significance of artificial intelligence. This likable, efficient movie won't break any new ground, but it does have an idea or two to accompany its jolts and thrills, which puts it ahead of most recent action flicks. Also featuring Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, and James Cromwell. --Bret Fetzer
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Actually, it's still not at all bad. First, let me dispose of the two reasons why I'm not giving this 5*. Number one, Will Smith: it's not that I don't like him, but here he is playing the running, jumping, wise-cracking cop that he played in Men In Black. It's Agent J all over again, the only real difference being that he's in an SF drama instead of an SF comedy. He does it just fine, but there's still an element of "seen it all before" about the performance. Reason number 2 is that Hollywood once again lets SFX get in the way of the story. The main example is the ending. Someone went "Ooo! We can do this really cool climactic fight scene!!" The trouble is, for me, it jars against what was happening with the same participants earlier in the film. It spoils nothing if I tell you that the heroes inevitably win, but the truth is, they ought to have been dead in about 10 seconds. It left me going "Oh dear", rather than "Wow!"
Which is a shame, because the story, even if it has little to do with the book, is actually rather good, and well-handled, too. I'm not going to go into details - I wouldn't want to spoil things for you - but it builds nicely. Within the context of the setting, it's wholly plausible, each "reveal" of the next part of the plot, flashbacks included, feels natural, rather than forced or deus ex machina. The supporting cast do their jobs well, the SFX are classy, the score adds to the ambience as a good score should. It's shame the ending got a bit silly, and that Will Smith couldn't be a bit less J, but I liked it. And like it, as opposed to love it, is the official Amazon description of 4*, as opposed to 5.
It's a decent film. It won't be years before I pull it off the shelf again, for sure!
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