“I, Robot” is directed by Alex Proyas and is based on the 1950 short story collection of the same name by Isaac Asimov. The film stars Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, Shia LaBeouf and Alan Tudyk. The film was initially based Jeff Vintar’s screenplay, “Hardwired” but after years of being “development hell” the film was put on hold. But Fox acquired the movie rights and bought on Proyas to direct, the film was reworked by Vintar and Akiva Goldsman who incorporated Asimov’s novel and elements from the short story.
In 2035 Chicago, Detective Del Spooner (Smith) is on a case following the death of Dr. Alfred Lanning (Cromwell) who was the co-founder of USR. (United States Robotics) His death is presumably a suicide but Spooner is a bit skeptical seeing as this “perfect” world that USR created is not so perfect. The other co-founder, Lawrence Robertson (Greenwood) is saddened by Lanning’s death however is too bothered by it which only makes Spooner more suspicious. During his investigation, Spooner is accompanied by Dr. Susan Calvin (Moynahan) and come across a NS-5 robot with an unusual neural network. Dr. Lanning personally modified this robot who calls itself, Sonny (Tudyk). While Spooner is investigating Dr. Lanning’s death and Sonny’s modification, its leads him down a dark and mysterious path in which both old fashioned human instincts and artificial intelligence are put against each other in a futuristic world of supposed “perfection”.
In my opinion this film is both an underrated and one the best Will Smith performances. This was a great film from the visuals to performances. While the story is a run of the mill “whodunnit”, its the futuristic setting along with the great leading performance that keep the film as intense yet intriguing as a standard thriller should be. The film has the great visuals and give the future its own persona much like in “The Terminator”, “Back to the Future” & movies where we, the audience, is taken to there or when to story has to jump forward. My only complaint with this movie is the cliches of the A.I. story line. “Terminator”, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Age of Ultron” & “Upgrade” all have similar plot points and “I, Robot” is no different however each film is entertaining in their own ways.
While the film, was a moderate success it still has its own following. Will Smith went on to continue his career with more action films like 2007’s “I Am Legend” & 2008’s “Hancock” and even did a few dramatic films such as 2006’s “The Pursuit of Happiness” & 2008’s “Seven Pounds”. He would also return to some of previous franchises like “Bad Boys” in 2020, “Men in Black” in 2013. He would also join some other franchises like the DC Cinematic Universe in 2016’s “Suicide Squad” & the 2019 live action version of Disney’s “Aladdin”. Alex Proyas would go and direct 2009’s “Knowing” starring Nicholas Cage & 2016’s “Gods of Egypt” with Gerard Butler. Alan Tudyk would continue more voice over work in other animated and live action films. “Ice Age: The Meltdown”, “Wreck It Ralph”, “Zootopia”, “Moana” & “Big Hero 6” were some of his animated films while “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, “Aladdin” & “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” were some his live action voice overs.