A.I. touts a creative merging between two of the greatest directors in history. Like a sexed up Sharon Stone, A.I. crosses and uncrosses its legs, showing glimpses of hairy Spielberg goodness wedged between the meaty thighs of Kubrick conundrum. One might think this melding of creative craniums could create one of the greatest films of all time... instead it pops out a quirky melodrama, more about a freakily obsessed robot than about the human spirit itself.
Stanley Kubrick is everywhere in this film. Though he died long before filming began, Spielberg manages a pretty damn good Kubrick imitation, from camera angles, to scoring, to dialogue pacing, you might think Kubrick came back from the dead to get one last shot in. But underneath all the heady Kubrick goodness, you'll find Spielberg as well, from soul searching acting, to eye challenging colors, to weird bubbly mecha's with a lust for human love.
Haley Joel Osmet is simply amazing, as he always seems to be. Its hard to understand what he does that is so different than all the other kiddie actors out there, I suspect he is not a real boy, but rather an acting robot... for no real boy could do the things he does. Enjoy him now, for like all child actors he will eventually be discarded like a snotty piece of tissue, thrown into the gutter to drift along in a world of drugs, parties, and jail. Sad realities of Hollywood glam.
Yes, Osmet and Jude Law (Joe) are AMAZING, but A.I. suffers from the simple flaw that the audience is unable to identify with its main character. He's supposed to be this AMAZINGLY human robot, who is so close to being human and experiencing human emotions that he is just one step away from being real... yet the character is written as just another puppet, a puppet whom the audience has difficulty believing is anything more than just a robot with a screw loose... when we should be BELIEVING in him as a person.
Even so, A.I. is an interesting film, one bound to leave questions in the mind of anyone who sees it. It seems Spielberg had questions to, most notably those pertaining to when he should end the film. A.I. makes far too many starts and stops and teases us with an excess of potential endpoints extended by improbable circumstance. Much like a bad case of diarrhea, it is annoyingly difficult to tell when A.I. is going to stop running.
Kubrick's spirit lives on in Steven Spielberg, but it's doubtful A.I. will long linger in cinematic memory. In the end, it lacks enough character to be much more than a footnote in the filmography of two master directors.