M3GAN ★★★

With all of our technological advancements come positives and negatives. We can access more information and entertainment than ever before, but we can also get consumed by it. This can be true moreso for children who are growing up in a world where this is all that they know. The toys they play with are far more advanced, and can potentially hold an unhealthy control over their lives. Technology can create a completely different world, and one they prefer to live in. Emotions may not be healthily dealt with, and relationships can deteriorate. M3gan explores children's relationship with technology with an understanding far deeper than the boomer "kids and their phones" mentality I often see, and I found it refreshing.

M3gan herself is an incredible effect. The combination of animatronic, actor, CGI, and sound design make her feel completely real, which only makes her creepier to me. She's right in the uncanny valley, and got really under my skin. Definitely one of the most convincing robots I've seen. Tonally, I think this film succeeded in being genuinely unnerving while also understanding the inherent goofiness of its premise. It has fun with M3gan, but never too much that she stops being an uncomfortable presence.

I do think this suffered from some weak writing in places. The dialogue was occasionally awkward, and there was some unnatural exposition. Most of the acting was fine, but some of the side characters were pretty rough. I also think the way Cady went from being so obsessed with M3gan that she would attack Gemma to being totally fine after one pep talk was way too rushed and unnatural. It felt like the story wanted to wrap itself up quicker than it was ready to. Also, this is really nitpicky, but I find it weird that a film in 2023 would make fun of an adult for owning toys as collectibles.

But I still had a lot of fun watching this, and I think it has some relevant subjects to explore as well as incredible effects.

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