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Flix at :48: "M3GAN" is violent, predictable, and boring

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movie poster for M3GAN

Science-fiction is a genre rich with possibilities in both the excitement of new inventions and the complexities of emotional consequences (see the recent films "Swan Song" from 2021 or "After Yang" from 2022). Like "RoboCop" (1987) or "The Matrix" (1999), science-fiction creates timeless combinations of technology and humanity. The new suspense/horror release "M3GAN" is not one of those films.

An acronym for Model 3 Generative Android, "M3GAN" is a life-like doll created by a robotics engineer to be a companion for her lonely niece. But this doll has an artificial intelligence system that learns so rapidly, her existence soon becomes fixated on murder. I was so bored watching this film, because it's written so terribly, and every attempt at realistic emotion is immature and hollow. Even the acting in this film bores me, because everyone is so apathetic and listlessly filling their mundane stereotypical roles. (There's an annoying nosy neighbor, an ambitious workaholic, a bombastic corporate manager, and a put-upon personal assistant. Does that cast of characters sound interesting?)

Director James Wan, who has presented such ridiculously shallow films as "Aquaman" (2018) and "Malignant" (2021), developed the story of "M3GAN" and served as a co-producer, which helps explain why the film is only interested in violent death scenes and predictable jump scares.

Since my mind had a lot of time to wander in the movie theater during this one, "M3GAN" kept reminding me of the awful 2019 remake "Child's Play"— using the thrilling advances of technology as the conduit for innocently-disguised danger.

With a PG-13 rating, I understand this film not intending to be a fresh inventive entry in the horror or science-fiction genres. "M3GAN" presents more as a mischievous campy satire on the growing ravenous world of consumerism and the constant need for new toys, new advances, and new ways to be entertained. But even that part of this film is boring, because the writing remains so flat and so uninspired.

Like a teenager rushing to complete an important writing assignment only moments before its deadline, "M3GAN" does not get a good grade from me in any genre.

Casey T. Allen is a native of Utah who graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's degree in English in 2007. He has worked in many capacities throughout USU campus and enjoys his time at UPR to continually exercise his writing.