Dark caves

Okay, here are my thoughts on I, Robot:

The good:
The acting for this was great, the characters meshed really well, and the movie felt more like a send-up of Asimov’s corpus of work rather a stricter rendition of I, Robot. I really liked how they elaborated on Susan Calvin’s character; all through this movie there was an emotional chord that Asimov was never good at bringing out. And the ghettoization of Asimov was something that shouldn’t have worked, but did, maybe because Asimov was always injecting an element of the man on the street into his fiction, and this simply updates it. (Of course, in ten years it’s just going to look dated, but for now it works.) Doctor Lanning was delicious in his scenes. And it was kind of fun catching all the parallels to Dark City.

The bad:
Alex Proyas can’t direct an action scene to save his life. He couldn’t do it in Dark City and he can’t do it here. He relies really heavily on CGI, he pulls back for wide shots when he should be pulling in for reaction shots, and the movement itself is a perfectly choreographed ballet of action and reaction. There’s never a stumble or a surprising turn of fortunes. I was longing for the fight scenes in Indiana Jones, with people waving their arms to keep from falling off cliffs, booby traps, changes of allegiance, not to mention heroes who bring a gun to a sword fight or lose their weapon in the middle of a battle.

The ugly:
Okay, this has to be the worst example of product placement I have ever seen in a movie. First, the Converse All-Stars that happen to be from this year and don’t match anything else that we know about the character, and then the luxury car. Explain to me how an injured, discredited cop manages to afford thirty-year-old, mint-condition shoes and a luxury car. Grrr.

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