Product placement. Stan Lee’s Marvel cameos aside, they’re one of the most jarring visual elements to include in a film. In most scenes involving cars in the sci-fi film I, Robot, the distinctive Audi four rings find their way into the frame, while in the first act no fewer than three characters remark on the protagonist’s (Will Smith) vintage Converse shoes. It doesn’t necessarily make a bad film, but the main narrative tends to be undermined when I think I’m watching an advertisement.
The film does relate an intriguing story, offering up interesting questions on chaos vs. control and freedom vs. slavery. I’m still not entirely convinced Will Smith is an amazing actor, however, and his female lead counterpart is even less compelling. While the effects have not aged particularly well, Alan Tudyk is solid in his role as the central robot in the film, Sonny.