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I'robot Vs. Frankenstein

Essay by   •  November 11, 2010  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,419 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,885 Views

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In the 19th century Mary Shelley introduced us her first and unique novel Frankenstein. Almost 200 years later director Alex Proyas released his new blockbuster I, Robot based on the homonymous short story by Isaac Asimov. Both stories tell the viewer a fiction about creatures produced by human beings. These creatures feel itself as a stranger in the society and misunderstood. But even if the stories have the same beginning they are presented in a different way. So the question is: Is the movie I, robot the Frankenstein of the 21st century?

The future world of I, Robot is introduced to the audience through the eyes of Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith). Before he experienced a tragedy, he used to be a normal person, but now he seems to be very paranoid about technology. The robot-psychologist Dr. Susan Calvin (Bridget Moynahan) is the opposite of the detective. She is very comfortable with robots, because she is involved in creating and making them - actually she makes the robots appear more human. Sonny, who is actually a computer animated character, is also one of the protagonists. It is a robot who does not appear to be like the other robots of its type. Instead it seems to be like a small child who is very frightened and wants to learn everything. V.I.K.I., Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence, is the main frame of the U.S. Robotics company, U.S.R., who is at the first glance not very important, but the importance of its character grows in the course of the story. It was also the first invention Dr. Lanning made. Dr. Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell) worked around 20 years at U.S.R. and was also a cofounder of the company. He was the designer of all the robots and his last one was Sonny.

The story is an adaptation of Asimov's short story which warned about the future and about technology. It takes place in Chicago in 2035 and to this time robots are a part of the everyday life. There is no way one could imagine a life without robotics. The company who develop the robots, U.S.R., is about to bring out the new robots, NS-5. But the business is overshadowed by the suicide of the developer Alfred Lanning in the U.S.R. headquarters. Detective Spooner is convinced that it is a homicide and that the committer only could be a robot. But nobody believes him since there are the three laws of robotics which build a perfect cycle of protection. "1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3. A robot can protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law." With the help of Dr. Calvin, Spooner tries to solve the case. This is a back-breaking job because his adversaries are always one step ahead. But Sonny seems to be the solution for the whole riddle because he is the first robot who can choose between adhering to the rules and being against them. This for Dr. Calvin and all the other humans seems to be impossible, because if robots can break those laws, then there is nothing which could stop them taking over the world, because human have become very dependent on their robots and cannot live without them. But maybe the robots have already taken over the world?

"Guy creates Monster. Monster kills guy. Everybody kills Monster. [...] Frankenstein [...]" That is the key sentence of the whole movie. The ambitious Dr. Alfred Lanning created those robots to help humanity with its daily chores and fulfill his dreams. So Dr. Lanning is very similar to the early Dr. Frankenstein in Mary Shelley's debut novel Frankenstein or The modern Prometheus. In this narrative Victor Frankenstein has a passion for science and a consuming interest in life principals. These interests developed in an unnatural obsession to create an artificial human out of several dead body parts to see if it is possible to animate this creation. As one night the creature opens his eyes Frankenstein is so frightened that he escapes out of his laboratory. As he later comes back the monster left. Few days later Frankenstein's younger brother is found dead. Frankenstein knows right away that properly the monster has murder his brother. So he goes to look for him. When he finds him, he noticed that the monster is now able to talk. The creature tells him that he learned to talk when he watched one family, but when he comes closer to the family and want to be their friend they chase him away. And so does everybody. He feels so lonesome and alone, that he wants Frankenstein to create a girlfriend for him so he is no lonely anymore. As a result he may have then somebody to talk to. In return the monster would turn his back to the human race. Consequently Frankenstein creates a female mate for the monster, but when he is almost through the work he is suddenly overwhelmed with fear

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