Set in in 2035, director Alex Proyas’s gleaming, intelligent 2004 sci-fi thriller supposes that robots are our trusty helpers, governed by three laws that prevent them from harming us.
Will Smith kicks up a storm as Del Spooner, a robot-hating Chicago police detective with a robotic arm who sets out to investigate when a highly sophisticated model of robot, Sonny (Alan Tudyk), is implicated in the mystery death of the head of US Robotics, scientist Dr Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell).
It is a huge credit to the movie that it is both exciting eye candy and provocative brain fodder, doing full justice to Isaac Asimov’s trailblazing book, while delivering slick, thrilling entertainment. The great special effects never overbalance the humans, leaving Will space to live and breathe, as he races to save his own life while the film builds to its nerve-jangling climax.
In a boys’ movie, the curvy Bridget Moynahan makes a very feisty heroine as psychologist Dr Susan Calvin, who specializes in the psyches of robots and helps Spooner in his investigation.
Jeff Vintard’s screen story was ‘suggested’ by the classic Isaac Asimov book.
© Derek Winnert 2014 Classic Film Review 714 derekwinnert.com