Analysis of a Sixty Second Sequence of I Robot

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Analysis of a Sixty Second Sequence of I Robot

Throughout this essay I will be analysing a sixty second sequence of the film I-Robot. Directed by Alex Proyas, the film was released in 2004 and was a hit at the box office. The film is an action-thriller inspired by Isaac Asimov’s classic short story collection. Asimov’s books set forth the three laws of robotics.

Law 1. A Robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Law 2. A Robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with first law.

Law 3. A Robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.

Although the film does not follow any of the short stories, the three laws are an integral part of the storyline and the philosophies set forth by Asimov are ever-present during the film.

Set in the city of Chicago 2035, the world has developed a considerable reliance on robotic ‘Automated Domestic Assistants’. They have become a trusted part of everyday life; cleaning homes, walking pets and basically doing everything that humans can no longer be bothered to do, and due to the three laws are trusted by everyone. Everyone except Detective Del Spooner, the main character played by Will Smith. He has a deep mistrust of the Robotic world due to an unfortunate accident in his past. On the eve of the release of the latest model robot, the NS-5, Dr Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), the father of robotics, seemingly commits suicide. When Spooner is called to the scene, he is immediately suspicious of the circumstances and believes that the victim was murdered. Del digs a bit deeper and discovers a new model robot named Sonny locked in the office of the victim, who flees from the crime scene and refuses to obey the orders to halt given to him. The fact that the robot ignores commands that violate his central laws of programming is put off as a simple malfunction by Billionaire Lawrence Robertson (Bruce Greenwood), who does not want Del's suspicions to disrupt his business plans on the eve of the largest rollout of new robots in history. Naturally, Del does not follow this command and he suspects that there is a larger and much more serious threat posed to the public even though everyone around him says that he is paranoid. What follows is an action packed gam...

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...nning of the film he purchases a pair of trainers that he calls “2004 classics”. This behaviour is also seen in regards to his apartment. All the decor and technology including his hi-fi seem to be from the present day. No obvious reasons are given for this throughout the film. My opinion is that Spooner’s distrust of the robotic world is so deep that he prefers to live in a time before humans become so reliant on Robots. Wearing these cloths help him think that he is achieving this, although it is a futile attempt at hiding away from the robot world he lives in, as soon as he opens his front door he is instantly face by one.

What I have discovered from writing this essay and studying this scene is how every detail helps the audience where the story is, where its been and where its going. Many of which I would not normally have noticed, but now realise are crucial for helping the audience develop an opinion of what the film is about. Many of these facets may go unnoticed but it would be very noticeable if they weren’t there.


Tim O’Sullivan (2003) Studying The Media

Isaac Asimov (1991) I-Robot

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