"Please make me a real boy?"
Unfortunately, it seems that A.I. is Spielberg's weakest hour. But that's not to say that this Kubrick-style sci-fi production is bad; because the premise is excellent, but the film takes a few too many wrong turns.
A.I. is set many years into the future when the polar ice caps have melted and coastal cities are underwater. Presenting us with a dystopian vision of the future, we follow a group of scientists who develop highly advanced mechanoids. The science team decide that they should develop and design a robotic child with the ability to love.
The result produces an artificial child named David (Osment) who is adopted into a reluctant suburban family. David learns to love his "mother" Monica (O'Connor), but unforeseen consequences with David result in his abandonment. Being inspired by the story of Pinocchio, David sets out to find the Blue Fairy to make him a real child and put an end to the barriers between man and machine that caused the troubles in the first place.
The first half of the film sets everything up brilliantly; it's very well scripted and contains some highly creative concepts. But alas as things get too fanciful, long, and exceedingly more dull it results in this mediocre product.
Steven Spielberg's directing was superb like always and strong from start to finish. But despite this strong direction the film still suffers greatly into the second half like I previously stated.
The film holds a heavy reliance on the performance by young Osment. He is capable of establishing himself as a robot due to being emotionless at times. This is a rare case when the robotic nature of an actor is actually a positive. But then again it seems the filmmakers relied too heavily on Osment looking cute in order for us to empathise with him. But the biggest flaw in the film as a whole was the concluding 20 minutes. Not only are these final minutes highly unnecessary, but they're also just plain stupendous.
One of the film's strengths was in the fantastic score provided by none other than John Williams. Whenever he works with Spielberg he manages to produce some extraordinary tracks of music.
The visual effects are nothing but the finest in such an ambitious project. The mechanoids actually feel quite genuine and looked very impressive. Visually, the film is extremely eye-catching.
At the end of the day, A.I. is an extremely underwhelming film from one of the world's finest directors. It seemed that all the proper ingredients were present; good cast, legendary director, celebrated composer. But somewhere during the moviemaking method I feel that they lost the plot and ended up creating a highly average, albeit visually impressive film. Robin Williams, Chris Rock and Meryl Streep appear uncredited for use of their voices.