M3GAN (2023) 24 reviews and clip for robotic horror from James Wan

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‘Friendship has evolved’
Megan is a 2023 American science fiction horror thriller film about a life-like robotic doll that malfunctions. The title is stylized as M3GAN

Directed by Gerard Johnstone (Housebound) from a screenplay written by Akela Cooper (Malignant; The Nun 2, Luke Cage) based on a story by co-producer James Wan. Also produced by Jason Blum, Michael Clear and Couper Samuelson.

The Atomic Monster-Blumhouse-Divide/Conquer co-production stars Allison Williams (Get Out; The Perfection), Ronny Chieng, Violet McGraw, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Arlo Green, Jen Van Epps, Stephane Garneau-Monten, Michael Saccente and Amie Donald.

Plot:
Gemma (Allison Williams) is a brilliant roboticist at a toy company. She uses artificial intelligence to develop M3GAN, a life-like doll programmed to be a kid’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally.

After unexpectedly gaining custody of her orphaned niece, Gemma enlists the help of the M3GAN prototype – a decision that has unimaginable consequences…

Our view:
“This is the part when you run…” M3GAN is slow to get going and pretty predictable. It lacks tension but is mostly enjoyable. The techno fear plot has been played out before but the presentation and acting here are generally good. The M3gan ‘doll’ is suitably creepy and generally positive reviews and audience responses suggest that this could become a franchise. There’s also some obvious yet welcome mocking of corporate crap.

M3GAN is certainly better than producer Wan’s dire Nun offering which had more jump scares than any other horror movie of the last five years and his wildly off-kilter Malignant (also written by his partner Akela Cooper) which was so-bad-it’s-good. Mostly, M3GAN is darkly humorous fun. That said, the decision to tone the film down for a PG-13 rating undoubtedly reduces the movie’s effect. Expect and unrated version for home viewing.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

Other reviews:
“The PG-13 rating also dampens what kills we do get. Those looking for the unexpected likely won’t find it here, though that doesn’t make it any less fun. Entertainment is the sole aim here, and on that, M3GAN delivers. The memes are only getting started. Of course, that feels par for the course with the creative minds involved.” 3 out of 5, Bloody Disgusting

” …the movie doesn’t really break new ground. I think everyone will agree that technology can be dangerous if it is not used properly. But as it is, I think the creators – producers James Wan and Blumhouse, writer Akela Cooper and director Gerard Johnstone – just wanted to have fun with its high concept, which is also reminiscent of movies like War Games (1983) and Weird Science (1985).” A Celebration of Cinema

“Derivative though M3gan undoubtedly is – with creepy fake toy TV ads that are a ripoff-homage to Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop and a freakout finale that references James Cameron’s android meisterwerk – there are some adroit satirical touches about dolls as toxic aspirational templates, dolls as parodies of intimacy and sensitivity and tech itself as sinister child-pacification…” 3 out of 5, The Guardian

M3GAN is a fun little thriller that seems to have benefited from a sizable budget and a collection of talented individuals that were put on the right project at the right time. Hardly original in concept, M3GAN explores the tropes of evil technology with a present lens. Ultimately M3GAN, is what happens when the market requirements for a film are met and the talent rises to the occasion both in front of and behind the camera.” 7 out of 10, Horror Buzz

“The VFX of M3GAN are one of the film’s stronger points, especially when we get to a robotic showdown in the third half. I’d like to see bigger studios, like Blumhouse, take more risks with their horror storytelling. Become bolder and inventive. I left the theatre feeling bored and as if I’ve seen this type of movie before.” Into: Screens

“In short, M3gan is the new Chucky for centennials, with recycled concepts for the new generations, visually I must say that they did a very good job, with the puppets and the doubles of M3gan, I think it manages to be an entertaining movie that would even be enjoyed to see more in home, they also leave an ending that can lead to a second movie or why not, a new franchise of horror dolls.” 7.5 out of 10, Smash-61002

“[M3GAN] looks convincingly human for the most part. But her cold, Children of the Damned eyes and the not quite right texture of her face give her away at close range. She’s not the obviously non-human robot seen in many films, nor a perfect copy as in Terminator. It’s just close enough to be unsettling. It’s nothing game-changing, and plotwise it’s fairly predictable. But it is done well and with a considerable amount of talent.” 3.5 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony

Release:
M3GAN was released theatrically on January 6, 2023.

Budget:
$12 million

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