As a society we grow more reliant on technological advances everyday. Predictions of how the world would look in a post apocalyptic modern era have largely fallen by the wayside as we ushered in an age of information rather than succumb to our autonomous robot overlords. But what if the opposite were true? 2004's blockbuster "I, Robot" starring Will Smith, explores the possibility of technology outpacing the very humans who created it - trying in vain to mold it in their likeness.
To understand the modern take on the subject we must look to the past. Published in 1942, Isaac Asimov's I, Robot explored the role of autonomous Robots in our lives. The three fictional laws of robotics define the interactions such Robots are capable of:
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
I, Robot the film takes us to the year 2035 where robots have been incorporated into everyday life by a company called US Robotics and robots serve the needs of humans. They do this because they are bound by the 3 laws of robotics which basically say, without going into too much detail, that they must only help humans and never harm them.
A detective named Del Spooner, played by Will Smith (Men In Black, Independence Day), isn't so convinced about robots however and harbors an active distrust of them. We see early in the movie that at the US Robotics headquarters Dr. Alfred Lanning, played by James Cromwell, who is the creator of modern robotics and the creator of the 3 laws has possibly committed suicide.
The owner of US Robotics Lawrence Robertson (James Cromwell, Eraser, My Own Worst Enemy) doesn't understand why the doctor would have committed suicide, however Spooner thinks robots might have something to do with the suicide. In order to humor Spooner's suspicions Robertson lets Dr. Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynihan, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Source Code) take him to the doctor's lab.
However when Spooner goes to investigate he finds the robot Sonny, voiced by Alan Tubyk (Firefly, Dollhouse) hiding in the lab and because of Spooner's distrust of robots and the fact that Sonny tries to kill him and escapes the lab rather than obeying the 3 laws of robotics, a chase for Sonny ensues. With many twists and turns the plot seems to keep you guessing as to who may be behind this murder and why robots who are not supposed to harm humans may be violating the 3 laws.
This movie was originally released in theaters in standard 2D, but is being presented here in post-production 3D. The 3D trend is definitely seen in most films of today and especially in most summer blockbuster and so it seems a rerelease of this movie was in order. In the case of some scenes the 3D glasses may not be needed, but in the case of many of the action sequences the 3D is really given a chance to shine. This can be seen when Spooner is attacked on the streets by robots in his car and also in the chase scene when Sonny tries to escape from the US Robotics building.
The packaging of the movie consists of two discs. The first is the disc that contains the Blu-ray version of both the 3D and 2D versions of the movie. The second is the standard dvd which contains the movie and special features such as director commentary, making of featurettes, and Photo galleries that help you get to know how the world of I,Robot came to life in the movies. Maybe the only thing that would have been better is that the special feature be available on the Blu-ray as well This release does also differ from most 3d releases as usually there is a separate disc for each DVD version with special features contained on the Blu-ray disc.
As we race towards the modern era of cinema, as well as technology being used for more than just information in our daily lives, it important to look back to see the warning signs. I, Robot is a film ahead of its time, with hints from the past that gives a glimpse of what might happen if we don't control our desire to play god with the blessings of the modern world.
I, Robot has been rated PG-13 for intense stylized action and brief nudity.