After drawing Gigolo Jane for a customer the other day, a character from the movie “AI,” I got curious about the movie, so I downloaded a torrent. I avoided the movie when it was in theaters (2001), because I never saw anything that made it look interesting, and I know from experience that Spielberg makes terrible movies.
So I watched the torrent. OH MY GOD, WHAT AN AWFUL MOVIE. This is seriously one of the worst movies I’ve ever suffered through. Ill-conceived, poorly executed, deadly dull in all of its interminable 2-and-a-half hours. Just AWFUL from beginning to end. I was never once entertained, and I never for any instant cared what happened. (Roger Ebert loved it. Go figure.)
The first scene is so uninspired and boring, just so flat and dreary, it was all I could do to keep my finger off the stop button. The scene actually ended with the mad inventor referencing Genesis. THE BIBLE. Spielberg, you uninspired boob!
Gigolo Joe, played by Jude Law, is a waste of a character. He has no reason to be there. Nothing interesting or surprising or NECESSARY ever happens to him. What little hint of a story he brings with him is never resolved. And Jane? She passes Joe in the street and says hello. THAT’S IT.
Every moment of this movie screams at us that Spielberg is trying to be Kubrick, and he fails. Long, painful silences, the thing Kubrick was so good at, the thing he could do with STYLE… you ain’t got it, Steve! And Kubrick didn’t need a NARRATOR, either. Filmmakers who know how to tell a story don’t need narration. Spielberg has to explain everything to us, because he can’t tell a story with film.
It’s not just the stylistic direction, I also have problems with the very concept. You have a robot that’s “programmed to love?” It’s creeping you out? There’s an easy fix for that. TURN IT OFF! Call tech support to come pick it up! Jesus, you idiots, I’m supposed to feel SORRY for you? I’m supposed to feel ANYTHING for you??
And then there’s the end of the movie. I found myself saying out loud, “What is this bullshit?” No really, it was SO HOPELESSLY STUPID.
And what was that freaky sequence of unexplained visuals in the scene-before-last? Did he actually see duplicates of himself? Did he really talk to his inventor? Was any of that supposed to be real? Once again, Kubrick could get away with that surreal shit. BUT THIS WASN’T KUBRICK.
Seriously, the whole Pinocchio thing has been done, done and done. You want to see a story about an unloved robot? It’s called Astroboy. As clumsy as it is, episode 1 tells the same story in less than 30 minutes, and they did it 40 years earlier. (With a catchy theme song. Another thing AI doesn’t have.)