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There are two bones of contention I can see for people who hate this film: that it is not really an adaptation of the novel it is named for, and that it features several comically-terrible bits of Product Placement.
Well, I sincerely sympathize if that's enough to ruin a pretty good movie for you.
The mystery is well-written and plays fair with the audience, the characters are uniformly more-complex than they appear at first glance (Spooner in particular is much deeper than his initial characterization would suggest), and the action is actually pretty badass. Will Smith is his usual Will-Smith-y self, which means, good with the bad, he brings in a lot of charisma and acting ability alongside the script-doctor that Will-Smiths up the dialogue, and Alan Tudyk steals the show as the self-aware robot hero Sonny.
Because this film has made almost no attempt to adapt, it would be thoroughly unfair to examine it as an adaptation. But, it still comes up with some interesting scenarios involving the Three Laws, most notably the source of Spooner's trauma. And it has at least a little sci-fi cred in terms of predicting the "iPoditzation" of the future years before it became sci-fi chic to do so.
While it may not be the same kind of thoughtful sci-fi as the original novel, it's worth noting that Asimov saw and loved the original Star Wars. Being a fun popcorn movie doesn't preclude this film from being good, nor does the introduction of crazy action set-piece battles stop the film from having slower, more-intellectual moments during its runtime.
Wow - what a coincidence! I was planning to write a review for this movie soon because I watched it a couple of days ago! I've seen it three times and I love it more each time. It's got some good action, an interesting and engaging story and a surprising amount of funny comedy. Will Smith's deadpan performance is brilliant. "So robots building robots... now that's just stupid."
Great movie! :) Really underrated, just like the 2005 animated film "Robots" and the first "Transformers" movie. I guess the mid-2000s wasn't a very lucky time for automatons. ;)
The problem with this movie is that it isn't iRobot. It's an entirely different movie called "Hardwired" or something with Asimov's title and a couple of plot devices slapped on. [Never mind, I missed the part where you addressed this.]
Though I can't remember if it's in the original novella, I will give credit to the movie for one bit:
Det. Spooner: Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams. But not you. You are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?"
Sonny: "...can you?"
It is a serious contender for my #1 Armor-Piercing Question.
I, Robot is not a novella, it\'s a collection of short stories. The film takes the three laws, and a few plot points, from Asimov, but it is entirely its own story and really should not have had the title slapped on.
That piece of dialogue is not from Asimov, it\'s not his style.
That dialogue is absolutely the style Asimov would use in his own works. In fact, \"Light Verse\" shows a robot that does turn a canvas into a masterpiece. As far as adaptations of Asimov\'s works, this is currently the best (not a high bar to clear).
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