Friday, March 29, 2013

Movie Review: I, Robot

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Action sequences held together by a great story
Cons: Maybe a couple, but they are too minor
The Bottom Line:
Great action movie
Held together with good plot
Fun from start to end

Mystery and Action with a Sci-fi Setting.  What More Do You Want?

I have been accused on more the one occasion of thinking too hard when I watch a movie. As a result, I have often complained about the plot of an action flick that everyone else loves. "Yeah, there were plot holes, but the action was great!" So, naturally, I love it when I can find a great action film where everything comes together perfectly. Such is the case with I, Robot.

In the not too distant future, robots are a way of life. Everyone has them and they provide a needed function in society, doing the jobs that everyone else won't do.

Well, almost everyone trusts them. Chicago cop Del Spooner (Will Smith) doesn't trust them at all. Even though they are programmed to never harm a human, Del thinks they can. In fact, he's accused robots of one crime too many and no one takes him seriously any more.

Which just makes things harder when Dr. Lanning (James Cromwell) is found dead of an apparent suicide. Dr. Lanning is the inventor of the modern robot. Del is assigned the case, and he immediately focuses on suspects of the metallic variety. But he can't get anyone to listen to him. Is he correct in this case? If so, can he prove it and save human lives?

This movie is a case where everything gels. The plot is great. There are enough twists and turns to keep anyone guessing. Yet they aren't so out there that you can't follow the story. And there's plenty of humor injected as well. The laughs effectively build the story and characters without spoiling the mood the film is creating.

This is first and foremost an action movie. Yet each action sequence is logically built into the story. And they are stunning. There's a car chase that had me on the edge of my seat. And of course you've got the standard explosions and fights.

The special effects tie everything together. The robots are breathtakingly real looking. It was hard to believe that they weren't really there. This vision of the future isn't that different from our own, but I believed every detail of it. And the work on the chase scenes and explosions are great as well.

I've only seen a couple of Will Smith's movies, mainly because they usually don't interest me. Every time I see him, I am reminded what a great actor he is. Most action movies aren't known for their acting, but he brings something different to his character that makes him stand out from most action character leads. He's not a clone of the last action hero but a real person with real struggles. Bridget Moynahan plays the female lead. She does a good job, although at times her performance between scenes seems a bit abrupt. This is probably due more to the script then in poor acting. The rest of the cast is fine, with no one really standing out.

While I, Robot has elements of science fiction and mystery, it is first and foremost an action film. Yet it doesn't let the action get in the way of telling a good story. If you are looking for an action film that gets everything else right as well, look no further then this great film.

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