STARRING: ALLISON WILLIAMS, VIOLET MCGRAW, RONNY CHIENG
DIRECTED BY: GERARD JOHNSTONE
RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 6, 2023
M3GAN, the Chucky-like film, has taken over theatres around the United States since its release on January 6th. This marks New Zealand screenwriter and director Gerard Johnstone’s fourth film. He is previously known for the sitcom The Jaquie Brown Diaries and the film Housebound. Produced by Blumhouse Productions, Atomic Monster Productions and Divide/Conquer and distributed by Universal Pictures, M3GAN has a run time of 102 minutes. Thus far the film has amassed $172.2 million with a budget of $12 million.
A living example of artificial intelligence, M3GAN (physically portrayed by Amie Donald and voiced by Jenna Davis) is a lifelike doll that has been designed to be the ultimate toy, a child’s best friend. M3GAN, created by Gemma (Allison Williams), a roboticist employed by the toy company Funki, can observe, listen, and calibrate as it serves as a great companion, a teacher, and a guardian. When Gemma finds herself suddenly in charge of her 8-year-old niece Cady (Violet McGraw) due to the sudden loss of her parents, she makes the decision to give Cady a M3GAN prototype. Will M3GAN be the ultimate toy or should she be recalled?
It is quite obvious that the film is about a robot who goes rogue and the creators of it lose control of their invention, just like any other robot movie. Is there any other meaning to the movie other than for entertainment purposes? One could say M3GAN represents the dangers of our reliance on technology and how our attachment could hinder us from growth. Cady’s bond with M3GAN became inseparable and their relationship temporarily distracted her from grieving the death of her parents. Without M3GAN, she was irrational and could not function as a normal kid would. In the end, the film insinuates that technology cannot replace human relationships. It does not work, and it is not healthy.
Despite the 93% rating from Rotten Tomatoes, I wasn’t a fan of the film. I found it predictable, especially the ending, and a little on the boring side. It simply was okay. I will say that it was unexpectedly funny for a horror flick. M3GAN’s unusual yet impressive dance moves caught me by surprise and David (played by Ronny Chieng) offered comedic relief every time he appeared on screen. It was expected that there would be numerous acts of gory murder scenes throughout the film, but the way M3GAN conducted these killings was nothing of the sort.