Sunday, March 19, 2006
Artificial Intelligence
Grab a bottle of bean-o and pull up a keyboard, it’s time for the first installment of . . .
Reviews are subjective things. I have a history of loathing movies that later become Oscar nominees, so I write this fully anticipating being the voice of dissent among my fellow gasbags.

The message (that artificial intelligence is – or perhaps one day will be – the spawn of natural stupidity) wasn’t lost on me. I can even appreciate the creators’ ability to make robots seem more human than humans. I just have a natural aversion to movies based upon disposable, replaceable children. I know what you’re thinking: C’mon, Rhonda, this isn’t a child – it’s a robot, lighten up, you issue-laden bastard.

But he isn’t a robot – he’s a roboy, a futuristic Pinocchio capable of human love and heartbreak. Procured by a grieving mother desperate to replace her comatose son, David joins the family. Plot logic blunder number one: if they could create almost real children from a pile of medical waste and a few computer chips could they not fix her kid? Cram a microchip into his brainmush or something? And frankly, they should’ve pulled the plug on the real kid. When he returns home following a miracle, we learn he’s a sociopathic little shit.

So what is a mother to do when her real kid doesn’t like his expensive store bought brother? Why, drop him off in the middle of a dark forest to be bot-napped and sold into the future’s equivalent of the tractor pull, a grizzly freak show where unwanted robots – even little boybots with human emotions – are sprayed with acid, impaled by machines and shot from cannons.


Fortunately, boybot is rescued by Gigalo Joe, who leads him on a journey to find The Blue Fairy – a magical creature rumored to possess the ability to turn boybots into real boys. Gigalo is, as the name implies, a boytoybot for hire. Okay, this is a concept I can wrap my mind around – a handsome manbot programmed to please who will never leave the toilet seat up, fill the bathroom sink with shaving stubble, snore or launch deadly gasbombs under the covers. Ahem, I digress.

So robokid spends the next 237 years waiting to become a real boy in effort to win back his mother’s love. As the storyline drags on, you begin to wonder if AI doesn’t stand for Artificial Idiocy and start rethinking your initial repulsion with tossing boybot into an acid bath. When the movie finally ends (it’s almost three hours long), you’ll feel like you really sat through 237 years of tail-chasing frustration.

So, next weekend, if you think to yourself: I’m really in the mood for a movie that views like Brothers Grimm meet Robocop at Moulin Rouge where they steal ideas from Pinocchio, Wizard of Oz and Peterpan and write a sadistic screenplay with an ending so syrupy I’ll vomit, then Artificial Intelligence is your tub of popcorn.

Otherwise, skip the trip to the movie store and do something less painful and annoying – like running your fingernails across a chalkboard or standing beneath the hum of bad fluorescent lighting until your eardrums implode.

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Rhonda Ruminated at 12:50 AM | Permalink |

6 Ruminations:

  • At 3:58 AM, Anonymous Kim Ayres

    Nicely done. I was unfortunate enough to see this in the cinema where I kept hoping it was going to get better, or that it would all make sense in the final reel.


  • At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Kippa Herring

    Thanks, Rhonda. That was a gas.
    Never seen AI, but don't need to - especially now. There's nothing I love more than having my prejudices confirmed :-)

  • At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Rhonda

    Kim: Ah, I am glad I'm not alone. In my limited research for this review I found a lot of "best picture ever!" types of reviews -- and critisisms that people who, like me, would rather have a root canal than sit through this movie simply missed its brilliance and should stick with reality television.

  • At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Atilla The Mom

    I could have done much more entertaining things than waste 3 hours of my life on this picture.

    Scrubbing grout comes to mind.

    Great review!!

  • At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Admiral Pooper Scooper

    Great review, but you made the whole movie up. Right? Right? Please tell me I'm right.

  • At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Meg

    Awesome, Rhonda. That movie was awful. Good choice.