I, Failed

Chris Suellentrop does a good job of explaining why you should probably stay away from the latest film adaptation of an Isaac Asimov novel.

I, Robot which “suggested” the new movie of the same name is basically an evangelical work, an argument against man’s superstitious fear of machines. By the end of the book, machines run the economy and most of the government. Their superior intelligence and cool rationality eliminate imperfections such as famine and unemployment. Asimov mocks unions for having shortsightedly “opposed robot competition for human jobs,” and he derides religious objections to new technology as the work of “Fundamentalist radicals.” Almost without exception, anytime robots in the book appear to be doing wrong or seeking to harm their human masters, it turns out that the suspicious humans are misguided; the robots, as programmed, are acting in man’s best interest.

The movie, however, takes the opposite approach and elevates emotion over reason. Suellentrop makes a broader argument about how other filmmakers have also misinterpreted Asimov’s work. He even mentions the amusing rumors about the connection between the Foundation trilogy and Al-Qaida.

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