Written by Jeff Vintar, Directed by Alex Proyas
On general release from 6th August 2004
The year is 2035. Mega corporation US Robotics is on the verge of putting
'a robot in every home', and most people are pretty happy about that,
because these robots can do lots of great tricks like cook, clean and
watch TV with you. They even appear to have personalities, which unfortunately
is more than can be said for many of the human actors in this movie.
When a brilliant but mad (aren't they always?) scientist falls to his
death on the eve of the great robot rollout, almost everyone puts it down
to suicide. Everyone, that is, except DI Spooner (Will Smith), who is
so technophobic he wears 2004 vintage trainers (here comes the product
placement!), and even refuses to let his dear old granny have an android
in the house. As Spooner digs deeper into the mystery, he uncovers the
truth about the new breed of automata, and gets into lots of fight scenes,
shoot-outs and car chases.
While so far it may sound like I hated this film, I actually quite liked
it. The acting is (ahem) robotic and there is an over-reliance on tired
old Matrix-like special effects, but some intriguing questions are raised
that will keep cyber-geeks and philosophers alike amused for hours on
end. The script is quite sharp too, and there are some very funny lines,
even if they do too self-consciously cool coming from the mouth of Will
Smith. The result is two hours of escapist fun, and if only the main robot
had given some acting lessons beforehand it would have been a must see.