In a future time the seas have risen and submerged many countries and cities. Resources have been destroyed and the government control family planning. Robots are highly developed and can carry out almost any function. Professor Hobby (William Hurt) is an expert on developing robots and he has now developed a child robot to meet the needs of childless couples. Henry and Monica are the first couple to receive a child robot, called David (Haley Joel Osment). Monica, who already has a son who is in a coma, initially finds David unnerving and struggles with the idea of living with a robot child. She begins to love David but when her own son Martin recovers and returns home thing become more complicated…
Considering Steven Spielberg directed this film it is strangely dull, subdued, a little creepy and a little depressing. None of the characters are engaging in anyway. There is hardly any humour in the whole thing and very little entertainment. In fact, there is very little to like about it at all. There is certainly nothing in this film that will appeal to children.
The story is very segmented in that there is clearly three parts to the story none of which quite gel together. This is especially true of the ending, which appears to have been “stuck on” just to make a semi-happy ending.
The film is meant to be stimulating and thought provoking. It does look at many issues like the dehumanisation of mankind, our reliance on machines and computers, the ability to love and be loved, and even man’s ultimate survival. Perhaps the film tried to cover too many issues. In any event instead of being thought provoking it is too long and very tedious.
Haley Joel Osment who plays the robot child David could not be faulted for his acting however it is strange that his robot character portrayed so many human emotions! Perhaps the most interesting character is Joe (Jude Law) a male robot prostitute who comes to David’s aid.
Don’t forget to get your popcorn or ice cream because it may be the only consolation in going to see this film!