HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  A.I. Artificial Intelligence This Is Not A ToyBuy this film here.
Year: 2001
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards, Brendan Gleeson, Jake Thomas, William Hurt, Ken Leung, Michael Beresse, Haley King, Paula Malcomson, Jack Angel, Adrian Grenier, Ben Kingsley, Chris Rock, Meryl Streep, Robin Williams
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  7 (from 4 votes)
Review: It is the far future and environmental disasters have overtaken the planet Earth as surely as its technology is running away from it. Professor Hobby (William Hurt) is at the forefront of robot development and now that they can be made to look as lifelike as possible the next step is something he feels is not only necessary but inevitable. That next step is to provide the robots with emotions as well as intelligence and to that end, his company produces a prototype child machine called David (Haley Joel Osment). He is offered to a couple, Henry (Sam Robards) and Monica (Frances O'Connor), whose son has been in a coma for some time; David has the capacity to love Monica, but will she ever accept him?

By turns weirdly affecting and weirdly uncomfortable, director Steven Spielberg's A.I. was originally one of those Stanley Kubrick projects that the famed filmmaker never got around to creating. Based loosely on Brian Aldiss's short story Super Toys Last All Summer Long, adapted by Ian Watson, it was a science fiction epic that Kubrick decided would be better in Spielberg's hands, although many who saw the final result wished it had been the other way around. It was notable in joining the ranks of the likes of The Graduate: films that many believe have a happy ending when in fact they don't. Scriptwriter Spielberg suffered criticism for that conclusion, but was it justified?

A.I. is odd for being an examination of love from the perspective of machines. Once Monica sets his program in motion, David loves her unconditionally: it's a love both perfect in that nothing will divert it and imperfect in that it is now David's fixation, his sole purpose in life that prevents him developing any further. After she gets used to the idea of such a robot around the house, Monica is happy to indulge him, though more like a pet until he starts asking awkward questions such as how long will she live and what will happen to David after that.

Is David's creation ethical? He certainly makes life difficult for his owners when their son Martin (Jake Thomas) is unexpectedly revived and returns home. Martin displays a cruelty towards his mechanical "sibling" as if he were his now-neglected robot teddy bear and Teddy and David strike up an alliance. But after victimisation from Martin's friends leads to David endangering Martin's life, it is clear the robot boy has to be destroyed, something which Monica's guilt cannot allow her to let happen. So begins the second act and after the cerebral first ends in emotional tragedy, the tone changes to adventure as David, impressed by the tale of Pinocchio, begins his search for the Blue Fairy who will transform him into a real boy.

In a surprisingly effective item of casting, David finds a friend in a sex robot for women called Gigolo Joe, essayed by Jude Law with great flair. Joe has been framed for murder and like his young charge is on the run, so after they escape a "Flesh Fair" where unwanted members of the burgeoning android population are destroyed for humans' entertainment, they embark on their quest. Although it takes thousands of years for David to achieve his fairy tale ending, the theme of love, both familial (David provides that service for mothers) and romantic (Joe provides that service for women) reaches a cynical verdict more fitting for Kubrick than Spielberg. There's a lot that's pathetic in David's all-consuming yearning and while we can relate with his need for complete affection, it's cheapened by association with a machine that cannot grasp motivation which has been programmed into him. Are we really any better?, muses A.I. Music by John Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6978 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steven Spielberg  (1946 - )

Currently the most famous film director in the world, Spielberg got his start in TV, and directing Duel got him noticed. After The Sugarland Express, he memorably adapted Peter Benchley's novel Jaws and the blockbusters kept coming: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones sequels, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, 2005's mega-budget remake of War of the Worlds, his Tintin adaptation, World War One drama War Horse and pop culture blizzard Ready Player One.

His best films combine thrills with a childlike sense of wonder, but when he turns this to serious films like The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich and Bridge of Spies these efforts are, perhaps, less effective than the out-and-out popcorn movies which suit him best. Of his other films, 1941 was his biggest flop, The Terminal fell between two stools of drama and comedy and one-time Kubrick project A.I. divided audiences; Hook saw him at his most juvenile - the downside of the approach that has served him so well. Also a powerful producer.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: