FILM REVIEW: A prequel to ‘The Matrix’? |

FILM REVIEW: A prequel to ‘The Matrix’?

RICHARD CHITTICKsummit daily news
RICHARD CHITTICKsummit daily news

“I, Robot” has been done so many times before. “Blade Runner,” the “Terminator” trilogy, and certainly “The Matrix” trilogy all hark to the same genre of what happens when artificial intelligence bites back. “I, Robot” is based on a decades-old short story penned by science fiction author Isaac Asimov. Far be it from Kimberly or I to ever review a movie by comparing it to the book it is based on, and we’re not going to start now.What I will do is say that “I, Robot” is a nice addition to the genre. It doesn’t get bogged down in myriad subplots, which eventually undermined “The Matrix” movies, and it isn’t as dark as “Blade Runner” or “Terminator.” In that respect, it’s a relatively simple movie that explores what happens when robots become self-aware.

If anything, it’s nothing more than a sci-fi who-dun-it featuring Will Smith as Del Spooner, a detective trying to solve a murder. Like any decently crafted murder mystery, the story follows a path of intrigue and deception being weaved by various people and machines. Speaking of “The Matrix,” one thing that really stood out to me about “I, Robot” is the similarities it has to an obscure cartoon released by “The Matrix” producers, the Wachowski brothers, shortly before the release of “The Matrix Reloaded.” On the DVD “Animatrix,” a short story titled “The Second Renaissance, Part I” tells the story of the creation of the Matrix, the artificial computer world that turned Keanu Reeves into a digital superhero over the course of three blockbuster movies. I noticed the parallels between the anime short, which is only seven minutes long, and “I, Robot,” right from the very first preview I saw for it.

And upon seeing the entire feature-length movie that is currently dominating the box office, I’m convinced that the entire “The Matrix” trilogy was based on the very same short story penned by Asimov.Though the trilogy and “I, Robot” share nothing in common in terms of producers, screen writers, directors or actors, comparisons could be made throughout the movie.And it makes me wonder just how pervasive Asimov’s influence is in the realm of science fiction, especially with stories which deal with artificial intelligence. Despite the way “I, Robot” could be a prequel or sequel to dozens of movies, it also stands alone and is worth checking out.

True, as Kimberly mentions, Alex Proyas does go a bit overboard with the special effects at times. I found the scene where Spooner saves himself from attacking robots by turning his Audi into a centrifuge the most laughable. But overall, the story works. The questions the story implies about the future of mankind are valid, as is the presentation in which the questions are posed. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at

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