M3GAN Review: Vanessa Decker Interviews James Wan and Allison Williams

M3GAN Review: Not a robot, more like a technological Frankenstein’s monster pieced together from Robocop and Terminator, but cheekily entertaining. Akela Cooper and James Wan, two experts in the horror genre, wrote this sci-fi thriller with Gerard Johnstone as the director.

Model 3 Generative Android, or M3gan, is a futuristic toy created as a personal passion project by engineer Gemma (Allison Williams from Get Out and HBO’s Girls), much to the annoyance of her overworked boss David (played amusingly by Ronny Chieng). Jenna Davis provides the voice for the eerily self-possessed blonde tweenage girl bot.

M3gan needs to “pair” with a young girl owner to mature fully; she must “sync” with a natural person to understand her owner’s speech patterns, behavioral quirks, and emotional needs to be close to her.

And Gemma is left without a replacement for that position until her nine-year-old niece Cady (Violet McGraw), orphaned in a car accident, comes to live with Gemma. Gemma is then forced to carry out Cady’s late parents’ wishes by homeschooling her. This little girl is an easy choice to be M3gan’s new friend because she is so distraught about losing her parents and lacks friends her age in a new city.

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Cady has miraculously healed of her grief thanks to their friendship, and David is so amazed and excited by M3gan’s humanoid behaviors that he orders his entire company to prepare to mass-produce this amazing toy at the cost of $10,000 each.

But after that, with a horrible certainty… Like every young adolescent or humanoid robot in any sci-fi movie, M3gan develops a willful reluctance to follow directions. Cady is well-protected by M3gan. So what about the unsavory neighbor’s dog that causes trouble? Who is that cruel boy who taunts Cady? They are going to face some severe issues.

M3GAN Review
M3GAN Review

Image Source: hollywoodreporter

There are some deft satirical touches in M3gan about dolls as toxic aspirational templates, dolls as parodies of intimacy and sensitivity, and tech itself as sinister child-pacification, with kids given iPads the same way Victorian children were given alcoholic gripe water.

M3gan is undoubtedly derivative, with creepy fake toy TV ads that are a ripoff-homage to Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop and a freakout finale that references James. When M3gan sings Titanium to Cady as a lullaby, it is amusing to watch him transform into a snarling wrath afterward. Chieng is also an excellent value. A funny-vile movie to ring in the new year. Stay tuned to techyember.com for more updates.

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