A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

In late 2010 Empire released a magazine dedicated to the 500 films it had awarded 5 stars. I made it a personal goal to watch them all, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence was the first on that list. Directed by Steven Spielberg - named "The 5-star Director" in the same issue of Empire - there was obviously no better place to start!

 A.I. tells the story of an advanced robot - in fact, the first robot that can love - being adopted into a family to emotionally replace their cryogenically frozen son. Just as the mother accepts the new addition, the ill child recovers and shatters the robot's dream of becoming the first robot to be loved in return by a human being.

It is easy to see where A.I. draws it's inspirations. Aside from the obvious links to Bicentennial Man, A.I. was developed at a time when thinking about 'our' place in the Universe was becoming a craze in movies. The Truman Show and The Matrix offered their version and Spielberg followed this concept marvellously.

Arguably A.I. has become even more relevant since its release as the world continues to debate the ethics and social impact of artificial intelligence.

From the first scene involving a robot with the aesthetics of a human splitting its face to show the inner workings, the movie's special effects are continuously impressive for a turn of the century film. Half-robot half-human creatures are thrown up throughout the film and not one of them looks tacky or out of place. Jude Law's plastic-looking gigolo is stunning to say the least.

The story is original, yet relatable and the ending is full of emotion - if not a little drawn out. The characters are portrayed brilliantly - Haley Joel Osment's acting shows a lot of maturity for an early teen and he is complimented well by Law although he seems a little overshadowed by him at times.

All-in-all a thoroughly enjoyable film, though the ending was suitable, it was a little too drawn out.

4 stars


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