Over the past several years, Chucky, Annabelle, and Jigsaw sent chills down the spine of moviegoers. The new release M3GAN looks to take things into the 21st Century in 2023.
Gemma(Alison Williams), is a self-absorbed toy designer whose career life is disturbed when her sister dies, and she ends up being a guardian to her niece Cady (Violet Mcgraw). Not being prepared for parenthood, Gemma gives Cady the prototype for M3GAN, a lifelike AI doll that cares for her.
The bond is strong at first, M3GAN misinterprets her protocols, developing a violent protectiveness over Cady that threatens everyone around her.
There was a sense of campy satire with modern technology. Director Gerard Johnstone uses the plot and characters for laughs. The film is fun, with the presence of the title character being a mix of human performance and CGI being funny and uncomfortable.
The unusual dance sequence and the rendition of the song Titanium might be the most you’ll ever hear. The tone inside the film is an absurdity and that is one of its greatest strengths.
At times the performances of the actors work better when the AI revels in the few times when sincerity is called for. Although the importance of moving on through grief can be an important part of the film, those moments rarely ring true when wedged between the dystopian madness.
As the lead, Williams is interesting since the dynamic of an unfit and reluctant guardian sees her prioritize innovation over parenting, making the plot easier to swallow and providing unusual laughs.
But for the rest of the main cast, McGraw doesn’t steal the show as the niece Cady, but the sadness in her eyes plays her part well. Ronny Chieng, best known for Crazy Rich Asians, and Shang Chi stood out as Gemma’s boss.
M3GAN could have been more thoughtful for smart tech than Psycho did for hotel showers. It became a solid more crowd-pleasing entertaining film as one of 2023’s first breakout hits and the title character now has a place in pop culture. Bring on the sequel in 2025!