Film Review – M3GAN (2023)

Over the years we’ve been reading books and magazines, watching films have all warned us Artificial Intelligence is getting smarter. The Terminator films warned it would be a matter of time before the robots take over. In Prometheus, Michael Fassbender’s David warned ‘Big things have small beginnings’. One of those small beginnings, you could say comes in the form of Gerard Johnstone’s M3GAN.

After Child’s Play films, Chucky has another rival, or could we say ‘little sister’? A toy doll that moves the goal posts into sci-fi territory. Showing that pure evil isn’t just horror it’s also sentient.

The trailer dropped a few months ago and it caught all our imaginations. A toy doll that can dance and more like a human was nothing but creepy. We where also onboard right away, but moved with caution as trailers can be deceiving. They can also spoil things and reveal all, thankfully the latest Blumhouse productions lives up to the hype.

Are we witnessing 2001: A Space Odyssey Hal’s AI granddaughter do her devilish deeds? Maybe more Ava from ex_Machina taking a few pointers from Chucky.

Allison Williams (Get Out) is Gemma, a brilliant Toy roboticist responsible for the creation of M3GAN (Model 3 Generative Android). The ultimate AI toy that’s a parents greatest ally as well as a child’s companion. That will watch, listen and learn to become the teacher, playmate and protector of the child they will bond with.

Tragedy strikes when Gemma’s sister and brother in law die in a car crash. Making her the sole guardian of her 8 year old niece Cady (Violet McGraw). Struggling with grief and Gemma pressured at work, her neice becomes the perfect test subject switch M3GAN on. Cady needs looked after. Gemma’s boss David (Ronny Chieng)loves what he’s seeing and ready to ‘kick Hasbro in the dick’. Everything seems to go well but when you are using a prototype they’ll be problems.

M3GAN is far from being scary and that is not a negative. It knows it’s limits and doesn’t try put itself on a pedastol. It highlights the tribulations of modern parenting as much as how we handle childhood grief and anxieties. The internet has grown into it’s own monster since it’s creation many moons ago. The innocence of the early days has disappeared, there is still angels surf the web to help those in need of help. Nowadays what you can find can drive anyone to paranoia and triggering severe anxiety.

Akeela Cooper who wrote the underrated Malignant pens this one with James Wan producing. It’s a film that starts slow and asks for your patience. When the fun starts we get something that’s wonderfully absurd, highly entertaining. Frankenstein has a baby, it’s called M3GAN.

★★★★

Horror, sci-fi | USA, 2022 | 15 | Cinema | 13th January 2023 (UK) | Universal Pictures | Gerard Johnstone | Alison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng, Jenna Davis, Brian Jordan Alvarez

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