192: 192 MOVIE REVIEWS: MECHA STAR OSMENT; Haley Joel Comes of Age as the Techno Age Pinocchio ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (12)

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), September 21, 2001 | Go to article overview

192: 192 MOVIE REVIEWS: MECHA STAR OSMENT; Haley Joel Comes of Age as the Techno Age Pinocchio ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (12)


Byline: ALAN MORRISON

THE coldness of Stanley Kubrick, the sentimentality of Steven Spielberg. It was never going to be an easy mix, but it was always going to be a cinematic event.

Individually, they're two of the greatest directors of all time. Together, they've made one of the most astonishing films you'll ever see.

AI is a flawed masterpiece as bum-numbingly infuriating as it is jaw- droppingly wonderful.

Three decades ago, Kubrick discovered science fiction author Brian Aldiss's short story Super-Toys Last All Summer Long.

Right away, he knew that this tale of a robot boy's search for the love of a human mother went way beyond what contemporary special effects (and sensible budgets) could achieve.

Over the years, Kubrick kept developing the project, working on storyboards that meticulously laid out his vision for the movie.

It was Kubrick himself who eventually suggested that Spielberg should direct while he produced.

This idea became stronger when he saw what Spielberg accomplished with the computerised dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.

When Kubrick died shortly after completing Eyes Wide Shut, it fell to Spielberg to stop AI becoming just another movie lost in the filing cabinets of film history.

Haley Joel Osment - so good in The Sixth Sense and even better here - is the robot boy, David, the most intricate machine ever assembled on the planet.

That's because David has been programmed with feelings, which are set in motion when his human "mother" Monica (Frances O'Connor) speaks a series of code words.

When Monica's real son returns home after a cure is found for his terminal illness, David becomes surplus to requirements.

The rules state that an unwanted robot must be taken back to its manufacturers to be dismantled.

Some motherly love stirs in Monica's heart, so instead she abandons him in a forest with only his walking, talking teddy bear for company. …

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