Jocelyn Hanson, 3rd Hour

HEROS JOURNEY

The Call:
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Spooner, Calvin, and Sonny

The call occurs when Del Spooner gets a call from the USR headquarters that tells him that Dr. Alfred Lanning, an acquaintance of his, had committed suicide. Everybody assumes that it must have been a suicide, because the crime scene is staged so as if it looks that he had jumped out of a window. Spooner suspects that there must have been more to this suicide as Lanning would have no reason to commit suicide. He also finds it suspicious that Lanning’s hologram would call him, a homicide detective. Spooner thus embarks on the journey to find out the mystery behind Lanning's murder.
The Threshhold:
Spooner attempts to cross the threshold when he begins to question people at USR about Dr. Lanning's death. He comes across a few halts in his investigation. Del Spoon talks to Lawrence Robertson; both but heads over the increasing presence of robots in everyday life, as Spooner seems not to trust the robots. Robertson assures Spooner that Lanning's death was most definitely just a suicide. Spooner feels as if the robots could be a bit responsible for Lanning's death. Dr. Susan Calvin tries to assure Spooner that the robots are programmed to follow the three laws and therefore they would never harm a human being. Both Calvin and Robertson try to deter Spooner in his attempt to discover the true criminal behind Lanning's "suicide." Spooner while investigating discovers that the window that Lanning broke through was too tough for an ordinary human to break through; and thus he concludes that a robot must have been in his presence during the suicide because there would be no there would be no other way for him to get through the glass. During his discovery, a robot jumps out from underneath scrape and attacks Spooner and Calvin. Calvin tries to deactivate the robot but she is unable to. All the rules that Spooner had once known had been broken, and at this point he crosses the threshold.
The Challenge:
  1. The first challenge the Spooner faces is capturing Sonny. After Sonny reveals himself to be hidden in the box of scrapes, he pretends to obey Calvin orders but as soon as he gains her trust, he holds her hostage at gun point. Spooner is able to disarm Sonny and save Calvin. The two both ensue on a chase to capture him. Calvin tries to assure Spooner that this is not normal and that he should not harm the robot but Spooner disagrees. They chase Sonny into an N-5 warehouse where they are able to draw him out. The backup, which Spooner called for, is able to capture him and take him in for questioning.
  2. Spooner decides to go down to Dr.Lanning's home to investigate a little bit more. Whiles viewing some old footage of Dr.Lanning, he hears a noise a turns around to find that there is a lonely cat in his home. With his guard down, Spooner does not notice a light that scans the room. All of a sudden the demolition robot, that was scheduled to bring down the house the next day, is destroying the house whiles he is in it. Spooner is able to escape into the pond with the cat before the robot can get to him.
  3. While trying to access personal messages at the USR, coming in and out, Spooner dozes off at the wheel. Soon large vehicles entrap Spooner's car between them and open to release dozens of rogue N-5 robots. Spooner is able to destroy all but one of them by slamming the car against the tunnel walls; Spooner comes face to face with the last robot and two go into a one on one battle, but Spooner to able to escape with his life when the police show up.
The Abyss:
The one thing that Spooner dreads the most is the robots, and Sonny not being an exception, therefore he is resistant to work with Sonny even though he is basically the key to figuring out the mystery surrounding Lanning's death. Spooner however has to get over his distrust for robots in order to use Sonny's dream to figure out what Dr.Lanning is trying to tell him with his "bread trail." Whiles talking to Sonny in the USR headquarter; security takes Spooner to Robertson's office. In Robertson's office, Robertson tells Calvin that she has to deprogram Sonny because his existence is hurting all of their work. Spooner can do nothing stop his deprogramming so he leaves for the moment, accepting that he cannot do anything.
The Transformation:
Spooner has always hated robots ever since the incident where the robot saved his life over a little girl; naturally, he has always distrusted robots, including Sonny. The revelation s when he learns to trust Sonny and understand his uniqueness and how he is not emotionless as the other robot, which turns out to be a good thing. It is his trust for Sonny the helps him to save Dr.Calvin at the end of the film where he has to trust that Sonny won't harm her. In the scene where Sonny holds Calvin at gunpoint, Spooner is able to trust Sonny with the wink that he gives Spooner.
The Revelation:
Spooner is able to destroy V.I.K.I by injecting her core with the nanites, which Calvin had created earlier to destroy Sonny; Sonny is able to save Calvin from falling to her death. It is Spooner's trust that Sonny would be able to make the right decision between saving him or Calvin, which allows him to concentrate on injecting the nanites into V.I.K.I. In the end this newfound trust between Spooner and Sonny help to build a certain sense of friendship between the two.
The Atonement:
The atonement occurs after Spooner reaches the realization that Sonny is not the enemy but in fact an ally had has been since the beginning of the journey. Spooner pieces together everything and realizes that Sonny was sent to him in order to assist him throughout his journey.
The Gift (Return):
At the end of the movie, Spooner, Calvin, and Sonny were successfully able to destroy V.I.K.I and thus life returns back to normal. Due to the city's distrust of the robots, after all the destruction of the robots had caused, the city to casts the robots away to the area where the bridge over Lake Michigan had been built. Society must go back to times before life had become dependent of robots. Sonny goes off to lead the N-5 robots, and the people of the city start to do a major clean up.
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Sonny leads his fellow N-5 robots


CHARACTER ARCHETYPES

The movie, I Robot, follows several of the stereotypical archetypes that demonstrate recurring themes, actions, and personality, possessed by the characters. Del Spooner would be classified as your typical modern action hero that has a bit of a Cassandra complex. The Cassandra complex relates back Greek mythology; Troy’s daughter Cassandra had been given the gift of prophecy, but at the same time no one had believed any of her prophecies. Even though all of her predictions were to come true, no one ever believed her. This is what Del Spooner faces in this movie; in his case, he has always distrusted and suspected that someday something would go wrong with the robots. He believed they would end up harming society; however, no one believes him as they are conditioned to believe that the robots will only follow the three rules; the three rules led them to believe that robots would never harm a human being. Of course Spooner does end up being right about the robots attacking society in the end but is able to defeat the enemy.
One thing that marks a hero is his or her encounter with a traumatic event in his or her past that happens to have changed the hero forever. This happens to be when the Spooner gets into a car crash after being hit by a truck; Spooner, and the family that was in front of him were they get pushed into the river. As the two cars start to drown, a robot passing by notices the accident and jumps in to save one the two people from the cars. Spooner tells the robot to save the surviving girl in the other car, but the robot saves him instead letting the girl drown. After the accident Lanning was able to used mechanic parts to replace his right arm and lung. From that moment on he is unable to trust another robot. In every hero archetype there is always some type of traumatic event that lead the hero on his journey; for Spooner the event happened to be when he is called to the scene two of the crime by Dr.Lanning's hologram.
Dr.Calvin plays the role as the damsel in distress in the movie. Spooner, throughout the movie, is constantly coming to her rescue. In the beginning scenes when Sonny sticks a gun to Calvin's head, Spooner is able to swiftly disarm Sonny before he could harm Calvin. When the robots start to attack there human hosts, after V.I.K.I sets them off, Calvin is trapped in her room with her robot servant who holds her captive; Spooner ,however, is able to knock down her apartment door and shoot down the robot before he can attack her. Spooner and Sonny both work together at the end to save Calvin as Spooner is falling and Calvin is being attacked by the robots on V.I.K.I’s core.
Sonny follows the friendly robotic beast archetype in that he at first seems dangerous and untrustworthy, but he proves himself to be a loyal companion to the hero. Sonny helps Spooner to follow the "bread crumbs," left to him by Lanning. in order to stop V.I.K.I from taking over the world. He ultimately proves his loyalty at the end of the movie when he turns down then chance to join the enemy and instead works to bring the enemy down.
Dr.Lanning kind of offers a sort of wise old man archetype. Even in death, Lanning has planted several of clues around to help guide Spooner on his quest to solve the mystery. The clues left were ones he knew that Spooner would be able to interpret better than anybody else.
V.I.K.I plays the archetype of the shape shifter villain in that she masks her true intentions and doesn't reveal her true evil ways until to the end of the films. V.I.K.I stays under the radar throughout Spooner's investigation, and therefore makes Spooner suspect Robertson everything.

Archetypes enhance the audience's understanding of the movie whiles at the same time making the movie predictable. Once the audience is able to identify what archetype each character falls into, they can pretty much predict the sequence of events and the actions that each character will take.

IMPACT
Audiences Feeling About Heroic Journey
The hero’s journey and character archetypes greatly affect the viewership of movies. Both set the stage for the rest of the film. When viewers walk into a theatre, the different points in the hero’s journey shape a viewer’s interpretation of the film. The hero’s journey and the use of character archetypes add a sense of predictability to the movie. Even though different movies do not necessarily follow the hero’s journey exactly, there being a few subtle differences, the viewers generally know what to expect. The usage of character archetypes, which are found in other featured films, lets the viewers be able to predict the actions of their characters or what predicament they would get into. Viewers use their understanding of journey and characters to piece together plot.
Though these aspects of a movie make films more conventional, a majority of the viewers have come love these archetypes and heroic plotlines. Common archetypes like heroes, damsels in distress, and villains are used often in movies because there is sense of similarity to everyday life. These types of scenarios are faced in daily life where ordinary heroes come across villainous forces. The common theme of a hero’s journey transcends all generations. As time goes on, the storyline of each tale, told in each time period, carries the same climatic feeling of a hero’s journey. Though society has changed greatly over the years, the same themes have been applied time and time again.

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The Common Use of a Hero's Journey