January 10th, 2015
For decades, movies about humans vs. aliens or humans vs. robots were thinly veiled parables about racism, xenophobia, loving thy neighbor, etc.
Especially so if one of the main characters is black.
No spoilers here, but at the start of this movie Will Smith’s character hates robots. Hates them for no obvious reason.
But this movie is not about racism or foreigners, or anything even vaguely like that. It is actually about robots.
By the end of the movie, Smith no longer hates robots. But not because he’s learned to be a better person. Oh, no, that is not the reason at all. Because this movie is not about that – it’s about intelligent machines.
I won’t say more – see it. But this movie rejects many standard Hollywood tropes and comes up with something genuinely fresh. And it shows that at least some people in Hollywood (Will Smith, anyway – who is also a co-producer) are able to make movies – even starring black people – about things other than racism. Imagine that!
And it has some important things to say about robots – things that may not occur to you until the next day after you see it.
It’s not an Asimov story – it just takes his robot stories as background. But I think Asimov would have liked it (so will Nick Bostrom).
It’s not a perfect movie, so one star off for that. But see it. 4/5 stars.