Já, robot

I, Robot the film with Will Smith in it is on TV right now. I’ve never seen the movie in English, but I had heard that it wasn’t very much like the short story collection by Isaac Asimov. All I can say is that unless there’s some dialog that really doesn’t match the action on the screen, the title is the only thing the two have in common. The bit I watched was much closer to Terminator 2 than it was to anything that ever came from Asimov’s pen. Gone is the graceful economy of the writer’s storytelling style. The original stories presented a series of intellectual challenges; problems that were solved with cleverness and occasionally personal risk, but none of these ridiculous flurries of hyper-accelerated violence.

And maybe it’s the small screen, but the cinematography in the action scenes I watched was crappy too. Absurdly, forehead-slappingly over the top, which could possibly be forgivable if it weren’t so badly done. So, if there’s anyone else out there who has not seen the movie, well, don’t bother. Read the stories instead.

5 thoughts on “Já, robot

  1. Ah see there is where you went wrong. YOU expected Hollywood to stay true to story. I mentally toss out the work and just see if it’s fun. Easier on my internal editor.

  2. Well, there’s not following the story and then there’s putting a famous writer’s name on the package and not actually using any of his work inside.

  3. Of course the movie has nothing in common with the book other than the title. It’s a good catchy title and one that a lot of people have heard and not read (read books? that’s for them smarty type fellers).

    It’s been quite a while since I perused (look up the meaning of the word. It’s not what you’d think) one of Mr Asimov’s pearls.

  4. Actually, there is one part of the movie that hinges on the major plot point of one of the short stories in Asimov’s original collection. And the movie’s underlying theme has to do with the Three Laws of Robotics — it poses an interesting question about them, having to do with unintended consequences, but then doesn’t bother to pursue the question very far. But other than that, yes, the movie doesn’t bear much resemblance to the book.

    Of course, when I saw the movie, I was suffering from the flu, and I was experiencing some fever-induced delirium. That may have been a good state of mind to be in.

  5. It was interesting this evening that one of Albuquerque’s Spanish-language channels was showing one Will Smith sci-fi film, and another Spanish-language channel was showing another. I had a choice of “Men in Black” and “I, Robot,” both dubbed.

    I watched a couple of “Law and Order” reruns instead.

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