A.I. Artificial Intelligence - A disappointing plot for a very good subject
I had watched the beginning of this movie as a kid, and thought I had seen it whole, so I was very disturbed when the whole episode with the robot’s family ended so soon. Or maybe I was expecting too much from this movie - I mean, robots capable of love ! But in any case, I was very disappointed. But there were also some good things, so here’s my review !
The movie begins with a scientist expressing his wish to create a robot actually capable of loving, and not simply of imitating physical symptoms of love. Soon enough, a family whose children is cryogenized and considered dead receives the first loving robot, a child looking exactly like a human one, David. After a difficult start (David’s robot side can be quite creepy), the family starts getting along well, but that’s when they learn that their real son, Martin, healed and can come home. Life becomes difficult for David as Martin and his friends always challenge him on his mechanical nature, until one day David puts Martin life in danger. The parents thus decide to abandon the robot. First alone, then helped by a love robot named Gigolo Joe (Jude Law yeay), David will try to survive in a dangerous world which mostly hates robots, and to find the Blue Fairy, which transformed Pinocchio into a real boy.
What is interresting in this movie is that the boy robot is almost never shown as a mechanical thing : we don’t see his building, he doesn’t have an even slight robotic aspect like all the other mecha, and the only time we see the inside of his body, he’s holding his “mother“‘s hand, which makes him appear human. He’s shown as the closest a robot can become of a human and, more importantly, he has dreams of becoming a human. Despite this, everybody seem absolutely sure that no human can love him, and this is never denied in the movie - hum, I even love my computer, I could totally love a robot, but apparently no we can’t. Okay… The two other robots in the movie, Joe and a Teddy bear, are really good too because Joe appears almost childish sometimes because of his robotic nature (he doesn’t know fairies don’t exist and takes their quest very seriously), and on the other hand, the bear, which is a children’s toy, seems the more mature of the three.
The story looks a lot like a fairy tale : there’s the introduction with people being mean to David because he’s different, the abandon, a quest with allies which makes them travel the world (New York under the sea was absolutely gorgeous) and… oh yes, a shitty end.
I found all the action of the movie way too quick and lacking of any transition : here is a robot / no I don’t want a robot to replace my son / okay let’s adopt it / oh our real son healed / weird, they don’t get along well / let’s ditch the robot he’s dangerous ! We don’t have the time to adapt to the situation and the characters, we don’t understand why the mother decided to adopt (seal the robot’s love for her) the robot she apparently still found creepy two minutes before etc.
Another very weird thing : the robots don’t have either a safe word which would deactivate them or make them obey, or at least some laws about not endangering the life of human beings. Which means that they’re obviously dangerous because they’re are way stronger than humans and can thus kill by mistake. What were the programmers thinking ?!
And the end. The end. I’m not always for a happy end, but this was just gross. [CAREFUL : SPOILERS AHEAD] They absolutely don’t exploit this whole thing when David finds out lots of other Davids being produced in series, and the Doctor which had made so much effort in finding the boy just disappears, and there’s this suicide scene which is totally forgotten as soon as we see the robot isn’t broken, and then he buries himself deep in the see in front of a Blue Fairy statue until… Two thousands years later (seriously ?), robots or aliens or something found David and make his mother live for a single day (and the excuse for having only one day was shitty), and it’s the happiest day they ever had (this just screams LIES, THIS IS NOT YOUR MOTHER COME ON !) and then the robot dies and WHAT ? No, this really gross. Ugg.
[Directed and written by Steven Spielberg]
[Starring Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law]