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Sunday, March 18, 2007

I, Robot

So why did I bother watching the movie I, Robot? It’s because I rarely read reviews ahead of time, since reviews too often contain spoilers. But I found this movie poorly done, disrespectful to the memory of my hero Isaac Asimov, and generally offensive. Other than that, it was worth watching.

The first big problem was that this movie is just a pile of cinematic clichés, from the loner cop to the out-of-control robots. The latter reveals the second problem: its faithlessness to Asimov’s memory. Asimov always believed in the rationality of humans and our creations. He carefully crafted his three laws so that robots would never turn on their creators (another movie cliché). Sure, I, Robot and other novels and short stories presented numerous personal and scientific problems that humans and robots had to solve, including a great many in which the three laws at first appeared to be violated, but there was never any fear-mongering. I cringe just to think of how the movie has torn apart Asimov’s view of the world. I’m going to go re-read the books now.

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