A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
I went to see the movie with low expectations. The previews and advanced press for the film were nothing like the Isaac Asimov I, Robot stories. It looked like it might be entertaining, so we actually invented an alternate title and decided to go with the knowledge that Asimov probably only lent the title. We were wrong.
I, Robot was very entertaining, and actually had more connections with the Asimov series than we first thought. The Three Laws of Robots provided the entire plot line, and there were bits and pieces from the stories that were pulled together to form the entire film. However, where Asimov’s tales were largely cerebral, with lots of logic employed in discussions about how a robot might violate one of the three laws, the movie was largely effects-laden visuals with hundreds of Terminator-like robots on the rampage. I guess you’ve gotta have the blockbuster element to sell.
Will Smith played, well, Will Smith, as he does in any movie. He has a patented, likeable character that works for most situations. Needless to say, his character was a complete invention and did not appear in any of the Asimov Book’s. Dr. Susan Calvin was always described as somewhat matronly, a far cry from her character in the movie.
One thing that did bother me about the movie was the time frame. The movie is set in the year 2035, and I don’t see our society progressing THAT fast in a mere 30 years. Oh well, that will be one more thing I can add to my list.
It’s my understanding that the same director and screenwriter plan to do Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. That is even more cerebral than the Robot stories, so it will be interesting to see how they can make it work.