M3GAN

M3GAN ★★

I always feel like a curmudgeon when I review movies like this. But seriously: why does M3GAN exist? This profoundly silly techno-riff on Child’s Play isn’t scary enough to work as a horror movie, nor is it smart enough to work as a satire. And what’s worse, it’s so by the numbers you could probably summarize the plot without even watching the movie. Allison Williams does her level best to give things an air of respectability, but with a screenplay this dumb, it’s a battle she was never going to win. I’m giving it one bonus star for a single, isolated moment that genuinely made me laugh: when a cop gravely talks to Williams’s character about a victim’s ear being discovered, he suddenly chuckles and says, “Sorry, I shouldn’t be laughing.” A little more of that irreverence and unpredictability would have gone a long way.

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