|A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Review by Susan Granger
Posted: July 4, 2001
(Haley Joel Osment), adopted by a Cybertronics employee (Sam Robards) and his wife
(Frances O'Connor) whose own seriously ill child (Jake Thomas) has been
cryogenically frozen. David is programmed to love, but those around him
aren't - because he's 'mecha' (mechanical), not 'orga' (organic) - and,
therein, lies his dilemma. Like Pinocchio, he yearns to be a real boy.
But how? When he's abandoned with only his supertoy Teddy bear as a companion,
he's sets off in search of a dream.
|Steven Spielberg is a cinematic genius. So was Stanley Kubrick.
But this unconventional, collaborative effort may mystify movie-goers.
Some will be beguiled, as I was. Others may be frustrated and/or disappointed.
Told as a sci-fi fairy tale for adults, the story revolves around a perfect
robotic child named David
Steeped in romanticism, the plot is divided into three segments: the
domestic drama, the quest or odyssey, and then the futuristic underwater/ice
sequences, a consequence of global warming. This fragmentation breeds problems.
In the darkly disturbing road trip, for example, David meets up with Gigolo
Joe (Jude Law), a 'love mecha,' who takes him to the Flesh Fair, a nightmarish
carnival, filled with robot torture devices. Then the eerie, sentimental
third segment evokes "E.T." and "Close Encounters of a Third Kind," moving
grandly, yet tediously. There's a lack of cohesion, a feeling of schizophrenia.
Hayley Joel Osment is truly amazing and Jude Law is charismatic.
The rich visuals - sets, costumes and creature/make-up effects - are stunning.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence"
is an unpredictable, intriguing 10. Love it or hate it, it's a triumph
of innovative film-making, a blend of science and humanity, and a brilliant
collaboration of two acknowledged masters.