A.I. Artificial Intelligence

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 2:25 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O’Connor, Sam Robards, William Hurt
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Warner Bros/Dreamworks Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Leave them at home.
Date Movie: She might get weepy.
Gratuitous Sex: Lots of innuendos and talk.
Gratuitous Violence: Robots get disintegrated.
Action: Not really but some chase scenes.
Laughs: Thanks to Teddy.
Memorable Scene: When David find The Blue Fairy. They should have left the film there.
Memorable Quote: None.
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Produced By: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Bonnie Curtis

I said in my preview that “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” looked to be a great family film. I’ll tell you what, leave most of the family at home because this ain’t no “E.T.”

“A.I.” is a great showing of filmmaking, and you would think that combining the likes of great filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, who started the development of this film, and Steven Spielberg who is, well, Steven Spielberg, that this film couldn’t go wrong. For me it went wrong, I guess, because Stanley Kubrick isn’t Steven Spielberg and Steven Spielberg isn’t Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick had a knack for turning a nightmare into a twisted reality, Spielberg is best at making a dream a reality, and this movie would have been better as a nightmare or as a dream, but not both which seems to be what Spielberg ended up trying to do.

In “A.I.” we get a future where you just can’t get pregnant willy-nilly. Robots have become commonplace, especially for sex, but our robot maker thinks that the next best thing is to make a child who can love, basically a child for all of the families that can’t have a child. He develops David (Haley Joel Osment) and gives him to the first test-family, Monica (Frances O’Connor) and Henry (Sam Robards), a family whose own son is in frozen hibernation until a cure can be found for his illness. At first Monica is skeptical, but eventually she activates David to be able to love. She begins to love David, even though he is a robot, but then, low and behold, her son gets a cure and now Martin, Monica and Henry’s biological son, comes home. Yea, you can guess, things get a little tense as Martin and David vie for attention, but Martin has the upper hand because he is human and can figure how to manipulate a robot.

After a few things go wrong on the David front, well, Monica decides it’s time for David to go, but she won’t return him to his builders for fear he might get destroyed. So she leaves him to fend for himself in the forest. It is here, after finding Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) – he’s a sex robot on the run, that David starts to see what he is, but he wants to be a real boy, like in the Pinocchio story which Martin made Monica read to them, and begins his quest to find the Blue Fairy. Not to give anything more away, well, let’s leave the story at that.

But here’s the problem – “A.I” deals with dreams and nightmares, and a movie trying to be both. I think this movie needed to be a nightmare to work, instead, Spielberg tried to turn it into a dream.

Why do I say that? I guess because, in the end, this movie shows that David would always be a robot and that is the nightmare, while Spielberg tries to make it a dream instead. David finds Gigolo Joe, who, in a way, is a much smarter robot than David, and is introduced into a world of sex and no answers. David finds a dark world, still searching how to be a real boy so he can really be loved by Monica, and sadly, even thinking he found it, well, he can’t find it (not like in the other robot movie “Bicentennial Man”, where eventually the robot finds a way to grow old). No, in this movie, we get a robot trapped in hell, in a nightmare, and given a way out, which, and no, I didn’t know Stanley Kubrick, didn’t like most of his films but appreciated his filmmaking, but would like to think he would have left David trapped in his nightmare instead of giving him a way out. David’s a robot. Yes, one that can love, but in the end one that can’t truly be loved. That’s how I think things are. But that can’t be the way for a nice, PG-13, bring most of the family movie, yet you will get, yes, a thought provoking movie, but in the end a nice, PG-13, bring most of the family movie that you shouldn’t bring most of the family to see.

For the younger ones the only cute thing is the super toy called Teddy, basically a teddy bear who can interact with its owner. Scarily, I think Spielberg should have really taken “A.I.” to the next level, yes, an “R” level, where David gets to experience decadence, where David gets to experience real hate, where David is really trapped in a nightmare, and where dreams don’t come true. Even for real boys dreams don’t come true – that, I think, is the reality.

I know a lot of critics are giving high praises to this film but I just can’t. I heard one ten-ish year old dude leaving the theater saying he gave it 2 stars, I heard a mom say she liked it although thought the ending was dumb, but the audience didn’t really applaud (the trailer for “Harry Potter” got more of a reaction), so I’m giving “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” 2 ½ stars out of 5. I think it would have been a better movie as David’s nightmare than David’s dream.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!