A.I. - Artificial Intelligence (2001) Warner Bros. / DreamWorks Pictures
2 hrs. 21 mins.
Starring: Haley Joel Osment, William Hurt, Sam Robards, and Jude Law.
Music by: John Williams
Directed by: Steven Spielberg

A.I. Artificial Intelligence



Photo: Warner Brothers

It is confirmed. Steven Spielberg is to movies, as to butter is to popcorn. With Steven Spielberg's new science-fiction drama, A.I., not only does he outdo himself, but delivers the audience on an emotional and fantastic ride that propels the heart and imagination of moviegoers everywhere. Let it be known now, not everyone will enjoy this film. It is strictly for the moviegoer who appreciates cinema and completely lets their emotions be guided by Spielberg's craftsmanship.

A.I. is in effect a journey of discovery of some sorts. The absolutely fantastic Haley Joel Osment personifies the boy next door as David; except he is not. He is the world's first robot boy programmed to love humans. Set in the future, this tale can be loosely associated with the classic 'Pinocchio', yet the movie makes no secret of using that story to guide David's journey to achieve his ultimate goal - to become a real boy.

As for plot details, my words cannot justly describe this incredible movie-going experience. It is enough to say that I was losing faith in Spielberg's vision as a filmmaker, but after experiencing this incredibly well done and simply mind-blowing film - this is what every movie should be like. Thought-provoking and gripping, the kind of film that will be studied in film schools in years to come.

As aforementioned though, it is imperative to understand that a majority of people will not enjoy this film, this film is quite revolutionary in terms of what it brings its audiences members to digest. (See the film - you will know what I mean). Yet, in order to fully understand the heartache that this robot boy endures, it is essential that time is overlapped, hearts are broken, and exaggerations are conceived as nothing but possibilities.

Notable mentions go to Jude Law for his astounding performance as 'Gigolo Joe' a male robot lover who joins David ( Haley Joel Osment) on his journey onto becoming a real boy. Law's body language is just enough to satisfy his performance, forget his acting. He brings his character to life with an 'over the top' performance in terms of his originality when it comes to his body language that conveys the notion that he is indeed a robot.

Many elements in the film are absolutely incredible and add to the ingenuity of this film. The lighting is superb, John Williams's score is an absolute score of bravura to capture the tonality of this film, and perhaps the film's greatest quality can be seen when our characters descend upon Rouge City - a city straight out of Stanley Kubrick's mind. Kubrick did produce a large part of the film and was involved intensely with the pre-production, unfortunately he died before the film started to shoot but is clearly associated with this film.

Perhaps one minor flaw in this film would be the disappearing of characters within this film. Spielberg introduces us to a wide array of characters that seem to have all their own stories to tell, unfortunately, they come and go with no closure. Yet, it is evident that they are all forms of motivation to guide young robot David on his quest to become a real boy. Throughout this journey, Kubrick's presence is felt and appreciated, as Spielberg crafts an extremely engaging and endearing motion picture that will require a second viewing simply to take all that was delivered to the audience.

Many themes Kubrick had in his films are effervescently displayed in this film, especially his fascination with sexuality. Rouge City is full of phallic references and it can be clearly seen that sex is a prerequisite for life in that disparaging city. Yet, we must not get away from the fact that A.I. is perhaps the greatest film of the year to date that should definitely be seen at the theatre. The sets are incredible, the acting simply adds to the tone of the film, and never before have we as audience members been brought on such an emotionally disturbing, yet fulfilling journey than after experiencing this film.

Click here to comment on this review or post your own thoughts.

Giancarlo De Lisi


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