Nerdlocker Movie Review: M3GAN


“The potential benefits of artificial intelligence are huge, so are the dangers.” – Dave Waters

It would seem the success of James Wan and his many collaborations with Jason Blum has opened the door to their more insane projects. First it was the schizophrenic Malignant. After that wholly unhinged horror show now comes the maniacally mental M3GAN.

M3GAN is a campy cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked technological progression. It is also a great example of what Chucky wishes he was, threatening. (I hate the Chucky movies.) As crazy as this killer doll movie gets, the self-awareness is what makes it all genuinely work and work quite well.

When tragedy strikes an innocent child, her only surviving relative, an aunt Gemma, must step in to take on parental responsibilities. They say there are two kinds of intelligence, street smarts and book smarts. Gemma is a tech genius on the cutting edge of technology. It’s every other aspect of her life that lacks any kind of legitimate nurturing. So when her niece, Cady comes to stay with her it’s a less than meaningful connection. Realizing Cady is struggling with her emotions surrounding the death of her parents, Gemma, a toy company engineer, creates a hyper intelligent doll named Megan.

Megan is designed to be the best friend Cady always dreamed of when all else failed her. As with all tales of A.I. Megan begins to take on an entirely too literal understanding of her parameters which are to make sure Cady is never in harm’s way, emotionally or physically. As is life’s tendency, Cady faces adversity in the form of bullies and emotional carnage, all things Megan intends to correct at any cost.

This is the kind of movie that somehow manages to be both an accomplishment and an example of what could have been. Like I said, it works, it really does. It’s a blast and I wish they would go out on a limb like this more often. That said it’s also hindered as the good movie that it is from the potential classic it could have been. It may still be but only time will tell with that one. Where this falls short is the rating, that goddamn PG-13 rating. It feels neutered. The violence should have been graphic, gory and excessive. It’s about a let-loose, psycho killer doll. It’s supposed to be outlandish and bizarro and the violence committed should aim to match. And it just doesn’t. It reminds me of the Brad Pitt thriller, World War Z. It was clearly watered down to receive a PG-13 rating and as good as the movie ended up being it was all too obvious that something was missing. Zombie movies need gore. Killer doll movies need an intensity to mirror the implications of an unstable, murderous play thing. Just my opinion of course.

The human characters are two dimensional and forgettable. They’re essentially cannon fodder for the doll to end them with extreme prejudice. But it isn’t about them so rooting for their demise is half the fun. The other half is watching as this silly thing gets weirder and funnier by the minute.

M3GAN isn’t a game changer but in the land of January movie dreck it’s an absolute winner. The rating notwithstanding, the potential for sequels is, for once, a welcome idea. Hey Chuck, eat your heart out.

Rated PG-13 For: violent content and terror, some strong language and a suggestive reference
Runtime: 102 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Comedy
Starring: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie, Donald, Jenna Davis (voice)
Directed By: Gerard Johnstone

Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 7/ Acting: 7.5/ Directing: 8/ Visuals: 7

Buy to Own: Yes

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard