Under the seasoned direction of Steven Spielberg, Artificial Intelligence is far more than what is easily apparent. Amid a series of films, both futurist and science fiction, this one tackles humankind’s last (and perhaps final) ethnocentricity, the arrogance to regard its own intelligence sublime, even though so often contained within mindset and progressively thought devoid of soul. For in this storyline, sustained love from an intelligence thought “artificial” is weighed against that of a mother suffering ultimate loss. The ironies become increasingly stark, while the ambivalence and treachery of mankind self-defeat any common ground between itself and the sentience it has created.
That is not to say there are not flaws in the movie. The more advanced AI of the story’s future didn’t need to actually recreate the living (real) focus of David’s (beautifully played by Haley Joel Osment,) Monica Swinton (the lovely Frances O’Connor.) No, they could have simply programmed his desired experience the same way they downloaded the history of his past. The flaw does, however, increase the intended pathos (but at a price.)
The gifted Jude Law’s performance as the “sex robot”, Gigolo Joe, is more than entertaining. Law does nothing without inspired interpretation. William Hurt gives another accomplished performance as, Professor Hobby, the creator of David (interestingly in the image of his own lost son.) Supporting cast is grand while the role best served is easily that performed by Frances O’Connor.
Acting, special effects, sets, over-all storyline (Ian Watson, from the Brian Aldiss short story,) costumes, and camera work all share in the success of this splendid film, one most certainly that should make us all reexamine our own humanness.
No nudity, language appropriate for all ages, a child friendly film. Highly, highly recommended.