Well maybe, but what AI Artificial Intelligence proves, they can’t automatically make something interesting.
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A young couple agree to be guinea pigs for a robot that can assimilate as a young boy, with a program enabling it to learn the ways of humans and integrate into any family.
The couple are drab and non-memorable, which should provide a perfect match for David (Haley Joel Osment), a sterile and innocent robot who is both weird and a little creepy.
But he’ll learn. It’s in the programming.
Then the couple’s biological son comes back (something, something, medical advances). Sibling rivalry is hard with actual siblings. It’s one thing to one-up and outgross at the table, but returning kid Martin has no qualms about fucking over a mechanical brother. Let the CPU take the fall.
It – and by that I mean, David – does. For a big budget high concept sci-fi film AI is pretty dumb stuff. No one thinks to ask David why he does the things he does – there is always a valid reason. Instead they dump him in the woods.
The second half of the film has David abandoned and left to find his own way in a big scary world. He roams through discarded Blade Runner sets evading robo-haters and scrap collectors, teaming with an automated teddy bear and a prosti-bot named Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) because… Don’t ask. As Spielberg lays the Pinocchio comparisons on thickly, the film that asks if humans can love robots and vice versa, convinced me that I could no longer summon the energy to even give a shit about them.
This is as tedious and misguided as it is long. And it is verrrrry long. In fact the longer it went the more I wondered what the hell the point of all this was. The fact Steven Spielberg was behind it rendered AI immune from criticism, and while it is true he has the runs on the board, this is a big enough misstep to warrant more attention.
For a film with ‘intelligence’ in the title, this film displays precious little.
Final Rating – 5.5 / 10. All style, no substance, lots of frustration.