Monday, August 16, 2010

A. I.

Directed by Steven Spielberg.
2001. Rated PG-13, 145 minutes.
Haley Joel Osment
Jude Law
Frances O’Connor
William Hurt

Sometime in the future, a robotics company creates a robot, or a mecha in the movie’s lingo, that can be programmed to love unconditionally. They make it in the form of a child (Osment), and test it on a couple who’s son is in a coma with little chance of regaining consciousness. The questions the movie wants you to ponder are posed at the top of the movie: If you could program a robot to genuinely love people, would people love them back? Should people love them back? What would be the consequences of such a relationship? To complicate matters, these machines are extremely life-like. They feel and look like humans. They also “think” and have “feelings.” Think the machines of [i]I, Robot[/i] taken through their logical and technological evolution. Instead of simply answering the questions, the movie takes us on an adventure. It’s really an updated version of [i]Pinocchio[/i]. The movie itself acknowledges this by explicitly referencing the famous fairy-tale while simultaneously using its story-line. Doing this gives us easy-to-follow themes while reminding us that the questions posed have not only been around since man first made any inanimate object in his own image but if technology continues to advance at a dizzying pace will have to be dealt with in full on a world-wide scale. Visually, it’s still stunning. Even though cgi has advanced in the years since this film was made, it has seldom been done better than here. There are a few instances where you can see that a computer did the work but far more times where you know a computer did the work but it sure looks real. It does drag in spots and seems to go on too long. I personally would’ve cut out everything dealing with aliens. That said, it’s still an excellent movie.

MY SCORE: 8/10

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