Film reviews

I, Robot, Dir; Alex Proyas, Cert; 12a

I love the comment that I read made of the earlier released film by the same name; "I love the eighties, nothing had to make sense." Well to get the record straight from the start, this was nothing like that. Will Smith plays 'Detective Del Spooner, a cop (a'la pre-MIB 'Men In Black'), employed by the Chicago police department in the year 2035. The film deals with phobic views in a different, but predictable light, we are left amiss as to Smith's reasons for his dislike of the Robots who inhabit this world, but I felt cleverly dealt with what becomes a twist in the tale. Blatant product placement that is slipped into earlier sequences, didn't become the norm and Spooner's 'love affair' with his Converse 'All Stars' became apparent later on.

But all this is just preamble, until we learn of the death (or is it suicide?) of Dr. Alfred Lanning, played by James Cromwell (Black Ball, LA Confidential to name a few). But rather than leave a suicide note, later in the 21st Century, the technically minded will leave a hologram to throw light onto the mystery of their death and this message from beyond the grave becomes not just a 'note', but a request asking for Det. Spooner to investigate. With his not so secret dislike for the ethnic group that is the robots, Spooner finds it difficult to have his suspicion, that this is not just a suicide, taken seriously. But as he turns up the heat and uncovers what could well be a conspiracy (remember Robocop?), doors start to close pretty quickly and impede his finding of the truth.

This is a fast paced action thriller, with cleverly used CGI to develop the set. The coolest Audio TT is utilised as Spooner's main form of transport and promotes what may well be the answer to our over-crowed car parking issue (although it's not as if we haven't seen this before), but I didn't notice over-crowed roads as part of the scene. The film was rife with 'Will Smith'isms', his comic ability used to its fullest and 'LOL' moments aplenty. If anything this film may've been a little too long, at what must've been 2 hours, our mid afternoon, 12a audience was becoming obviously restless and the screenplay was quite noticeably similar to so many that'd gone before. However, overall this film was an entertaining, if not exhausting movie, that I would recommend a visit to the cinema to see, but maybe avoid a pre-watershed screening. 7/10

Nick James

Odeon Online


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