I, Robot

Starring: Will Smith, Bridget Moynahan and Alan Tudyk
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: 17.99 (single disc edition) / £24.99 (double disc edition)
24232DVD / 24232CDVD
Certificate: 12
Available 03 December 2004

The year is 2035 and the world is reliant on robots. However, these humanoid helpers aren't perhaps all they seem. Robots are programmed to be unable to harm a human, or allow harm to happen by lack of action, but one of their number appears to have committed a murder. or has it? Could the robot's apparent involvement in the crime be a figment of the imagination of Chicago police detective John Spooner, a self-confessed 'robotophobic'? Is his investigation really being driven by blind prejudice?...

The plot itself, loosely based on the writings of Isaac Asimov, is pretty elementary. Are the machines about to take over the world or is this apocalyptic vision build upon good, old-fashioned bigotry? However, a sharp script, excellent acting and some snappy direction help lift what could have been an SF pot-boiler into the realms of classy cinema.

Will Smith's Spooner is a totally believable character, often at odds with his psychologist assistant, Dr Susan Calvin, who specialises in the psyches of robots. And Sonny, the suspected killer, is all too human despite his mechanical construction and CGI presentation - you really start to feel for him after a while.

Other strengths include a first class soundtrack (great in 5.1), some classy set designs and a real sense of building tension. Perhaps the only real weakness is an over-reliance on CGI which sometimes robs the action of a sense of gravity and weight. But these are minor considerations when weighed up against the film as a whole, especially as the transfer to DVD is as crisp and clean as you could hope for.

So is the world about to be overrun by robots? Watch the movie. But beware, you may never be able to trust your household appliances ever again. You know that programmable washing machine... could it really harbour a deep-seated hatred of you?

A good movie and a good disc. You really couldn't ask for more.

Anthony Clark

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£11.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Single disc edition
£14.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
Double disc edition
£17.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
limited edition collector's tin - exclusive to Amazon
£12.99 (MVC.co.uk)
Single disc edition
£19.99 (MVC.co.uk)
Double disc edition
£35.99 (MVC.co.uk)
Luxury box set
£10.99 (Powerplaydirect.com)
Single disc edition
£17.99 (Powerplaydirect.com)
Double disc edition

All prices correct at time of going to press.