Brief Summary of the Movie "I, Robot"

by Christopher John

"I, Robot" is a 115 minute science-fiction action movie, released in 2004. Following a police officer who distrusts all robots, the movie dramatically examines the potential battle that is unavoidable when the robots that man has created to make his world easier suddenly seek to make man's world their own.

The Characters

Will Smith portrays Del Spooner, the old-school-loving Chicago detective with an innate distrust of robots. That sentiment is not shared by others, including Spooner's own superior officer, Lieutenant John Bergin, played by Chi McBride. Spooner's attitude toward robots is also directly opposite that of Dr. Susan Calvin, a robot psychologist, or "robopsychologist," who is played by Bridget Moynahan. The story's main robot, Sonny, is played by Alan Tudyk, and James Cromwell plays Dr. Alfred Lanning, who helped create the robots.


The year is 2035. Well-programmed, advanced humanoid robots are now being used to serve in jobs, such as working as house servants, that were previously occupied by humans, and have earned the trust of almost all humans as being loyal. Furthermore, huge corporation U.S. Robotics is planning to launch even newer models. Smith's Detective Spooner, tortured by nightmares and strongly anti-robot in his entire attitude, is summoned to U.S. Robotics headquarters and encounters the apparent suicide of one of the company's founders, Dr. Alfred Lanning. Spooner is informed, through a hologram, that Lanning did not commit suicide, but was murdered.

The Whodunit and Action

Even though the dead scientist himself, Dr. Lanning, created the robots with three laws programmed into each one, including to always obey and never harm humans, Spooner quickly identifies his chief suspect, the temperamental robot Sonny. As Spooner conducts the investigation with the assistance of Dr. Calvin, he finds himself more and more under the direct attack of an army of robots determined to kill him, including in a dynamic car chase and battle. Lieutenant Bergin, however, along with everyone else, does not believe the detective's accusations that the robots have abandoned their preprogrammed mandate against ever harm a human.

The Conclusion

Detective Spooner realizes that the key to solving Lanning's murder, and unlocking a larger conspiracy, involves his trusting Sonny and enlisting his help. Sonny himself realizes that he was uniquely created for a special purpose among the robots and, along with Spooner and Dr. Calvin, fiercely opposes a violent takeover of society by his fellow humanoid robots at U.S. Robotics.

About the Author

Totally immersed in the pursuit of writing, I am currently writing a screenplay. My unyielding curiosity keeps me reading about a varied landscape of topics to grow more informed.