Throughout this essay I will be analysing a sixty second sequence of the film I-Robot. Directed by Alex Proyas, the film was released in 2004 and was a hit at the box office. The film is an action-thriller inspired by Isaac Asimov's classic short story collection. Asimov's books set forth the three laws of robotics. Law 1. A Robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Law 2. A Robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with first law. Law 3. A Robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.
Although the film does not follow any of the short stories, the three laws are an integral part of the storyline and the philosophies set forth by Asimov are ever-present during the film.
Set in the city of Chicago 2035, the world has developed a considerable reliance on robotic Automated Domestic Assistants'. They have become a trusted part of everyday life; cleaning homes, walking pets and basically doing everything that humans can no longer be bothered to do, and due to the three laws are trusted by everyone. Everyone except Detective Del Spooner, the main character played by Will Smith. He has a deep mistrust of the Robotic world due to an unfortunate accident in his past. On the eve of the release of the latest model robot, the NS-5, Dr Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), the father of robotics, seemingly commits suicide. When Spooner is called to the scene, he is immediately suspicious of the circumstances and believes that the victim was murdered. Del digs a bit deeper and discovers a new model robot named Sonny locked in the office of the victim, who flees from the crime scene and refuses to obey the orders to halt given to him. The fact that the robot ignores commands that violate his central laws of programming is put off as a simple malfunction by Billionaire Lawrence Robertson (Bruce Greenwood), who...
References: Tim O 'Sullivan (2003) Studying The Media
Isaac Asimov (1991) I-Robot
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