A.I. (Artificial Intelligence)

Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law and William Hurt
Warner Home Video
Certificate: 12
Available now

Thanks to the greenhouse effect the world's water level has risen dramatically ensuring that once habitable parts of our planet are now underwater. Paris, New York and London have all been lost. This has meant a shortage of food and as a result strict laws have been introduced to restrict the number of children being born. A brilliant scientist (William Hurt) begins work on the first robotic child David (Haley Joel Osment) that is truly capable of loving its human parents...

Spielberg took over the reigns of this film when its original director, Stanley Kubrick died before he managed to start work on it. Whether he would have approved of Spielberg's direction is questionable and the finished movie does, very much reflect a rushed handing over.

The movie seems to be a mismatch of stitched together sections. There is the first section which deals with the fact that humans are incapable of loving robots, the second segment where David meets sexually compromising robot Gigolo Joe (Jude Law) and together they search for the blue fairy (familiar to all Pinocchio fans) and the final segment sees David meet some aliens?!?!?!

Alright, before I start wading into the bad areas I thought I'd mention what was enjoyable about this movie. Teddy, David's robotic toy friend is the real star of the movie and there is a great cameo from Robin Williams as the voice of Doctor Know. Ben Kingsley makes a brief appearance and, apparently Meryl Streep's voice appears at some point... er... that's it for the good points.

This movie is so poor it is painful. Even John Williams score is dull (and this is the man who thrilled us with his Indiana Jones and Star Wars music.) The film starts promisingly, then the second segment is quiet fun, but the third segment...? What is it with Spielberg and aliens? Get over it... Please! Yeah, sure ET was cute but stop it now before the men in white coats drag you away!

Haley Joel Osment was a great choice as David, but the direction leaves him appearing scary - no wonder his parents didn't want him.

This is a dull and depressingly bad movie and if I had paid money to see it I would be very angry. Mr Spielberg you should be ashamed of yourself.

The final scene (lasting about 5 minutes) is moving and tries to reap back some of the dross that has gone before. But it is too little too late.

A.I. (Appallingly inept.)

Ray Thompson

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