A.I. Artificial Intelligence had the potential to be one of the best films of all time. Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg collaborating on a movie about robots and the future seems like a guaranteed hit. It starred the kid from The Sixth Sense before he hit puberty and was still a bona fide child star. It even had Jude Law playing a sexbot. This was a whole new world to explore but it becomes a glorified version of Pinocchio.
Henry and Monica Swinton (Sam Robards and Frances O’Connor) are a loving couple with a kid in a coma. To pass the time they decide to adopt David (Haley Joel Osment), an advanced mecha with the ability to love. He’s programmed to love his mommy like he’s a real boy. He fills a void in her life and things are good for a while. Then her real son wakes up and David is obsolete. She decides that abandoning him in the woods is better than destroying him. She ditches him and David can’t understand why she doesn’t love him.
He decides that becoming a real boy is the only option. So he hits the open road with his faithful robot teddy bear and a pimpbot named Gigolo Joe in search of the Blue Fairy, who he believes will grant his wish to become a real boy. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t happen. Instead there’s a ridiculously bad ending. It’s a disappointing conclusion to a disappointing movie.
The movie looks cool. It has great visuals and special effects. But it just doesn’t work. It’s hard to pinpoint where it all went wrong. It probably started when Kubrick died and they decided to make it anyway. This was also one of the first signs of Spielberg losing his touch. He still makes decent films, but they are no longer iconic. A.I. is forgettable and regrettable. You probably haven’t thought about it for years until you read this obscure review for it. Did I mention the terrible, terrible ending?
Critically Rated at 9/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young