Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)

I have been artfully avoiding this film at all costs throughout the years but when I saw that I would finally have to face my fears (of a shitty movie that is) and watch AI, I decided to give it a chance. From the moment I saw the trailer light up the screen (in front of a far better film I'm sure) I remember uttering the words, "there is no way anyone is ever going to make me watch that crap." Even so, I came in with an open mind. Hey I love the genre right? And it did make the list of 1001 movie to see before you die...there must be something to that. 


I'm sure that you can tell by the implied silence of my ellipses that I was wrong. I gave the film a chance though, even through when the mom abandoned him in the forest. I gave it a chance through Hailey Joel Osment staring blankly into the camera and at the other actors just like every bad robot cliche ever put to screen. I gave it a chance even when he was activated and continued to stare impassively, but only this time he could say mommy. I even gave it a chance when for no reason we started watching an entirely different story about sex robots (another painful cliche). I, however, could no longer give it a chance when Gigilo Joe did a jig while walking on water for absolutely no reason and then everyone just continued on their marry way. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? Seriously, what was that all about? It's one of those screen moments that just makes you embarrassed for everyone involved, including yourself. 

After that it was all down hill, that is if the film had ever made it to the top of any kind of hill. We sat through two more semi-related but unnecessary stories, a ton of things stolen from Asimov and then done poorly, and a little bit of symbolism as Hailey Joel finally had that dopey, glassy look literally frozen onto his face. Way to go Speildy. 

Overall, these were very few redeeming qualities to this film. I thought that the robot rodeo scene was mildly interesting at the beginning but it quickly devolved into that one angry crowd scene where they throw things at the bad guy. In the end, it just feels like they took a group of tired sci-fi/robot ideas and spliced them together and then pumped an absurd amount of money into them just for good measure. I can see how this film could appeal to people who would generally rather watch a good drama then see robots trying to cope with their human counterparts. For those of us who have watched a lot of sci-fi though, this film just felt tired.