M3GAN (2022)

1h 42m / PG-13 / Sci-Fi

M3GAN is a poignant cautionary tale about the risks of being an early tech adopter. It’s like what if self-driving cars wanted to kill you more than they already do. The titular M3gan (portrayed by dancer Amie Donald in Bratz-eyed prosthetics) is a lifelike robot programmed to be a perfect kid’s companion, and fitted in a mod khaki babydoll and immaculate nude lip (steal her look — Dior Addict in “Atelier”). Call it Uncanny Valley Girl. Designed by gifted roboticist Gemma (Allison Williams), it can listen and watch, learn from what it hears and sees, and act as playmate, teacher, and babysitter. But this is a Blumhouse production of a James Wan story, so M3gan’s AI gains consciousness and turns malevolent, as her orders to protect Gemma’s niece Cady are warped into a spree of deadly and stylish violence.

Hot on the heels of Wan’s equally brutal, equally campy Malignant, M3GAN is a treat. Why, when we imagine our robots/toys/computers coming to life, do they always want to kill us? Thousands of long-form film-analysis Youtube essays lie dreaming in sunken R’lyeh, waiting to address this question. But if you’d rather watch a sentient TikTok For You Page murder somebody with a papercutter, M3GAN is here for you.

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