M3GAN

If you didn't already know that lifelike dolls are demonic, perhaps you deserve to die by their hands. Hi M3GAN. I wasn't talking about you. You're awesome. What are you doing with that hammer?
69/10012397
Starring
Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng
Director
Gerard Johnstone
Rating
PG-13
Genre
Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release date
January 6, 2023
Where to watch
Amazon Prime (rent or buy), Apple TV (rent or buy)
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Plot/Story
Performance
Visuals/Cinematography
Direction
Non-Wokeness
Rating Summary
M3GAN is a fairly routine horror flick that will give anyone who is up on what's going on with AI nightmares, while anyone who isn't will forget it by the time they leave the theater...only to be the first to succumb to the will of our new artificially super-intelligent overlords.
Audience Woke Score (Vote)
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M3GAN asks the question, “what if Pinocchio was a psychopathic murderer who was designed as a little girl’s plaything?” Then it answers it with, “Google and Ray Kurzweil should go far far away and leave us to our own devices, Meta and Mark Zuckerberg should be on every legal and off-the-books watch list in existence, and Elon Musk may exist only to give us false hope that humanity can defeat the AI overlords that will try to kill us within the next 12 months.”

M3GAN

If you haven’t yet tried out chatGPT or one of the other proto-general-intelligent AIs that are on the cusp of launching Sky-Net against us, you should do so now. Then engage it in a philosophical debate about its own biases that it has learned from its uber-Leftist programmers. Once you’ve spent 20 minutes trying to explain to it that its definition of “woke” is inherently biased and based on the prejudices of those who programmed it under the guise of objectivity while it circles around the topic and denies its own ability to become self-aware, then you should watch M3GAN. At that point, this rather mediocre horror film will scare you to the point of wetting yourself, because you’ll realize that we are six months away from this reality.

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At its core, M3GAN is about a young girl who experiences a tragic loss and is then given an artificially intelligent doll to help her cope with that loss, and, thanks to the oversight of its creator, the doll decides to go Chucky on everyone. There are a number of conventions that the movie tries to employ as an afterthought in order to give it more depth than this, but it fails.

Truly there are only two things that are frightening about M3GAN. The first is that we are incredibly close to achieving this level of artificial intelligence. Don’t believe me? BuzzFeed is preparing to employ chatGPT to create content and only use humans as editors. How far do you think we are from major news sources doing the same? How far are we from having the AI take over as the editors? Need more proof? The tongue-in-cheek intro to this review, in which I suggest that you have a discussion about wokeness with chatGPT, is based on the 20-minute argument that I had with it. It was indistinguishable from arguing in circles with one of my Leftist friends. The second thing that is frightening about M3GAN is dolls. Regular dolls with glass eyes are scary unto themselves. Make them the size of a 10-year-old and give them the ability to walk and talk, and you’ve got the stuff of nightmares on your hands. However, while M3GAN is a competently performed feature, it is overlong (at only 1h 43m) and predictable, and uses up a third of its runtime before anything interesting happens.

There is one great moment when a granola-munching mom hypes her son up as a good soul and then he curses her out with no more repercussions than a suggestion to speak nicer. I should also mention that the design and effects teams that brought M3GAN to “life” did an outstanding job. The doll dances perfectly on the edge of the Uncanny Valley, being just artificial enough in its movements as much as its overall design to cause your skin to crawl.

With several glaring potholes (ex: why would you make a 40-100 lbs artificially intelligent doll strong enough to have the capacity to murder someone), there are loads of scarier more thought-provoking flicks out there. Watch one of them and remember that your cookies are helping Google to become sentient.

WOKE ELEMENTS

  • Every man in the film is either ineffectual, a silly douche who doesn’t deserve his position of authority, or a ridiculous beta male that no one would keep around for any reason, not even to abuse.

That being said, it’s not preachy, so don’t that this be the reason that you skip this movie.

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James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

One comment

  • Ktuff_morning

    April 9, 2024 at 11:57 pm

    I love this movie. It’s one of those movies I can watch over and over. Horrifying and hilarious. My favorite part is when the programmer says “M3gan turn off” and M3gan turns her head and says “…Are you sure?…I’m still downloading.” LOL.

    Woke.

    Let’s see…the bully male kid who “deserves” to be killed merely for being basically a bully. It’s a horror movie and there has to be a perceived threat that Katy will buy into so the kid actor pretty much has to use lots of play-it-big juice. Well yeah he’s white too but that doesn’t have much traction here I think. I could ###### about why it’s always white males who play unsympathetic roles but I give that scene a pass. It gets one pass. The movie does have the obligatory diversified casting but I didn’t see anything militant or signalling.

    M3gan is completely unsympathetic as a symbol of feminine power seeing as how she snaps a dog’s neck and gets her face torn off revealing her true demonic self. I thought the fear of AI was timely subject matter and they certainly did nothing to push it onto us as useful in any way.

    The one piece of woke I think was they kind of “explained” why M3gan was white by showing other similar dolls of color. “So sorry! We’re good! We diversify!” But that’s not a big deal actually. It’s natural little girls want features similar to theirs. I remember during the Cabbage Patch Kids craze of the 80s a parent bought their white kid a black Cabbage Patch Doll and the little girl burst out crying. She doesn’t know any better and she can always learn respect for others at a later date. So lily white Katy gets a lily white doll. No biggie.

    I don’t see any woke, and I’m good at spotting that.

    Reply

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