Have you ever wanted to see a movie that will make you laugh, cry, scream and writhe in terror all at the same time? Well “M3agan” is the movie for you! This robot doll is as lovable as she is terrifying. One moment you will find yourself covering your eyes from the horrors of artificial intelligence, the next you will be covering your heart wishing you had one for yourself.
So how did this precious, yet uncanny Furby-esque best friend come to be? What is her sole purpose? Well, M3gan is a byproduct of the evolving toy industry of the future. She is the ultimate friend that will cater towards your every need and emotion. She does this by pairing with her owner to know how they feel and what they are thinking. Her programming is to do what’s best for her master, and to never hurt them. This does not remain constant throughout the film, however. Her advanced AI continues to learn about the world and thus her behavior changes for the worse.
This film is an absolute masterclass on how to tell a man vs. machine story. A good story with this conflict really explores the idea that man vs. machine is a foil of man vs. nature. Man and nature have been in conflict for as long as man has walked on Earth. The biggest threat to nature is the progress of man, and the biggest threat to man is the dangers of nature. As man has risen to the top of the food chain and has learned to live anywhere on earth safely from nature’s harm, it seems that this is more of an older conflict in our history. However, just as man came from nature, machine came from man. Out of our own progress and quest for further advancement, we make machines that can think for themselves and it gets out of our control. Man can try as hard as they want to program machines to be good, but they do not share the same moral compass we do. The conflict is not that man does not understand machines, it is that machines can never understand us, and that’s what makes AI in this film terrifying. “M3gan” does a great job of exploring this topic as it really dives deep into how man and machine cannot see eye to eye.
Gerard Johnstone is the director and screenwriter for this masterpiece. His career before “M3gan” has been “Nothing Special” as we can see from his 2005 movie, but “M3gan” might finally be his lucky break. Johnstone displayed some expert directing with quality shots, good dialogue, tense scenes and well written characters. However, every character needs a good actor, and this cast did not disappoint. Allison Williams and Violet McGraw play the two main human characters. Watching their relationship grow with the amazing chemistry these actors had on set was nothing short of spectacular. If you are a horror movie fan, you might recognize Allison Williams from the 2017 Jordan Peele movie “Get Out” where she plays the girlfriend Rose. Jenna Davis and Amie Donald worked together to play M3gan, and they did not disappoint. Davis voiced the doll while Donald acted as the physical doll. Amie really makes M3gan creepy and feel alive. She uses lots of unique and robotic movements that really sell the character. All the stunts in the movie are also done by Amie herself which makes the twelve-year-old actor nothing short of remarkable in this film. Another quality this movie possesses is that it has a great sense of humor, and we have Ronny Cheing to thank for some of that. The Malaysian actor has been in some films before like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” Just like in those movies, he nails his role as the overbearing boss in “M3gan.” Just like in his standup, he makes the audience smile and fixate on him whenever he is on the screen. He is no stranger to the spotlight, and this is just another addition to his long resume.
“M3gan” is a fun movie to watch and a great start for 2023 cinema.