"You are the dumbest smart person I've ever met", growls Will Smith's robot-hating rozzer at cold fish scientist Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) in this loose adaptation of Isaac Asimov's seminal android-exploring scribblings.
As FX-driven extravaganzas go, I, Robot could well be the smartest dumb movie we've seen this year. Streamlining Asimov's geek-speak about positronic brains and ""three laws"" safety into bite-sized McNuggets, director Alex Proyas (The Crow) pits Smith against an army of malfunctioning metal-heads intent on world domination.
The mechanical `mystery' plot and occasional, shoehorned-in action scenes are balanced by an impressively moving CG turn from rogue robot Sonny (Alan Tudyk), several muted references to racial prejudice (""You just don't like their kind.") and a surprisingly vulnerable performance from Smith's conflicted hero.
It's enough to ensure this enjoyably unpretentious tin-man drama knows exactly where its heart is.