Warning….I spoil the ending here….so stop if you are planning on watching and not wanting to know the ending. If this is you….it is better than AI in my opinion, check it out!
It seems that both “AI: Artificial Intelligence” and “Bicentennial Man” came out around the same time. I think my feeling of unhappiness with “AI” dissuaded me from viewing “Bicentennial Man.” A friend has his movie list online and I thought it be good to borrow it since I had not cared to rent it. While it was slowly paced, I found that it kept my attention, and unlike “AI,” did not seem to have a better stopping point. In my opinion, the future in “AI” when discovered in the ice was a bit much with the sort of “back flash” segment.
Here comes a little synopsis… Family gets a robot as a surprise. Called a “Household Appliance” by the manufacturer, the robot is to perform any duties requested. This one, who was named “Alex,” is malfunctioning according to the manufacturer who wants to dissect and “fix” the malfunction as a learning and feeling robot could indeed cause harm, especially to children and the entire series would be recalled. Alex quickly becomes adopted by one of the daughters and father of the family who helps Alex by providing him a job and a bank account to earn wages and “pay his own way.” All of this is in an effort to become “free” and human. He eventually does earn freedom and is sent away by the family to live on his own though the robot still feels inclined to serve the family, but not necessarily feel like he is obligated. Alex seeks out his maker and looks for others like him and finds none that are “thinking.” He finds the son of the creator of robot company who has been doing research into expression upgrades as well as tactile response with a more human “Skin-like” exterior. As the movie progresses, with the help of Alex and his strive to become human, artificial organs, a nervous system, and eventually a digestive system are developed and many parts used in humans. This inclusion helps Alex become declared “Human.” He wanted to marry the grand daughter of the girl who he came to love and cared for him back. After one final upgrade whereby an erosive poison is injected into his system so that he can “Age” and eventually cease function, their marriage is finally consummated. Alex “dies” just before, never knowing he was ruled a human, and his wife shortly thereafter to be with him.
There you have it, the movie in a nutshell. Robin Williams adds to the movie in his typical comical way which adds a little extra to the movie making it truly enjoyable. I only wish he was able to hear he was a human….but that seems to be Hollywood. 🙂