“The companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.” – Frankenstein
One of my favorite things to do is go see a movie without watching the preview first. It’s like you’re opening a book for the very first time without reading the back cover—which is exactly what happened when I spontaneously saw M3GAN at the theater last weekend.
Of course I knew it was something about a creepy doll having read the tweets and seeing the poster art, but once you really get into the story there is much to appreciate about the film than what meets the eye—especially if you are a fan of the paradigm shift happening with AI technology or even just enjoy shows like Westworld on HBO.
Allison Williams plays a high-paid roboticist mastermind named Gemma who is working at a Seattle-based toy company Funki. After unfortunate circumstances she has to take her 9 year-old niece Cady (Violet McGraw) into custody and is totally unprepared for it as a single woman pretty much married to her job might be.
While testing out her new invention M3GAN (aka “Model 3 Generative Android” voiced by Jenna Davis and played by Amie Donald) acting as somewhat of a Dr. Frankenstein (and spending $100k of company funds on the project), the pressure is on while Gemma’s crazy boss makes last minute demands for her to create something miraculous to take on their rival company that recently ripped off their number one selling hit toy.
But the new reality of work-life balance with her niece is just not going to cut it if she is ever going to get any work done, so to kill two birds with one stone Gemma uses Cady as a test subject for M3GAN’S ultimate purpose: to be a little girl’s best friend. And as you can imagine, things do not go idealistically as a downward spiral of gruesome events all trace back to none other than the doll herself.
The movie will leave you wondering what is to come in the future of AI toys and just how advanced it will get. Not to mention you might be questioning the longterm effects of kids whose parents could care less what they are doing, as long as they are staying quiet not causing any trouble.
There were various nods to the original Furby doll along with the very Chucky vibe which I loved, in addition to the ultimate question posed in Mary Shelley’s famous Frankenstein: are all beings innately good, or do we all possess some sort of evil? Is this particular evil learned, or does it come within?