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60 Second Sequence Analyse of I-Robot

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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 does not want Del's suspicions to disrupt his business plans on the eve of the largest rollout of new robots in history. Naturally, Del does not follow this command and he suspects that there is a larger and much more serious threat posed to the public even though everyone around him says that he is paranoid. What follows is an action packed game of cat and mouse as Del and a U.S. Robotics scientist named Susan (Bridget Moynahan), start to uncover a deeper mystery, one in which the very world they have taken for granted is about to change.

I have decided to analyse the scene when Spooner has caught Sonny after his escape from the murder scene. He is taken to police headquarters and although the lieutenant is hesitant about the idea, he lets Spooner interrogate him. I have decided to use this scene because I believe it helps the viewer see how Spooner’s prejudice of Robots will diminish through his interactions with Sonny. Sonny’s child-like inquisitiveness stops him in his tracks. This pattern of Spooner questioning Sonny’s humanity and Sonny replying to these questions in a very human way is repeated throughout the film. There are also what seem to be small events in this scene that turn out to be significant later on in the film.

“My favourite scene is Sonny and I in the interrogation room. I love its humanity. His direction to me was that I was a racist sheriff who'd just captured the person I am most racist against.”

(Will Smith 2004)

The seen is set in a police interrogation room. It is typical of any other police interrogation room seen in many other films. There is a table placed in the middle of the room with Sonny sat at one end. The room is dimly lit except for the table where there is a large light shinning down on it. Apart from another chair there are no other objects. Also in the there are six armed guards, pointing there weapons at Sonny. The film is set in the future, so in order to make this simple room seem futuristic, all the furniture and walls are chrome. It has large electric sliding doors, a must for any film set in the future. There is also a low pitched humming noise throughout the duration of the scene. This also helps give an impression of a futuristic building although it is hard to say why. It is similar to the humming noise found aboard the enterprise in the series Star Trek, giving the impression of a large reactor powering the building.

The scene begins with Will Smiths character (Detective Del Spooner) turning to his Lieutenant and winking. As he does this, the camera quickly zooms in on his eye combined with a blue iris special effect around the edge of the shot. Accompanying this is a futuristic camera shutter sound effect. This small sequence of shots represents the

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