The year is 2035 and the world is reliant on robots. However,
these humanoid helpers aren't perhaps all they seem. Robots
are programmed to be unable to harm a human, or allow harm
to happen by lack of action, but one of their number appears
to have committed a murder. or has it? Could the robot's apparent
involvement in the crime be a figment of the imagination of
Chicago police detective John Spooner, a self-confessed 'robotophobic'?
Is his investigation really being driven by blind prejudice?...
plot itself, loosely based on the writings of Isaac Asimov,
is pretty elementary. Are the machines about to take over
the world or is this apocalyptic vision build upon good, old-fashioned
bigotry? However, a sharp script, excellent acting and some
snappy direction help lift what could have been an SF pot-boiler
into the realms of classy cinema.
Smith's Spooner is a totally believable character, often at
odds with his psychologist assistant, Dr Susan Calvin, who
specialises in the psyches of robots. And Sonny, the suspected
killer, is all too human despite his mechanical construction
and CGI presentation - you really start to feel for him after
strengths include a first class soundtrack (great in 5.1),
some classy set designs and a real sense of building tension.
Perhaps the only real weakness is an over-reliance on CGI
which sometimes robs the action of a sense of gravity and
weight. But these are minor considerations when weighed up
against the film as a whole, especially as the transfer to
DVD is as crisp and clean as you could hope for.
is the world about to be overrun by robots? Watch the movie.
But beware, you may never be able to trust your household
appliances ever again. You know that programmable washing
machine... could it really harbour a deep-seated hatred of
good movie and a good disc. You really couldn't ask for more.