Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
M3gan Movie Review : A savagely entertaining horror show
Review: A freaky looking super-sized smart doll with artificial intelligence, in a film produced by James Wan, is a perfect recipe for disaster to unfold on screen. Modelled after Wan’s much less sophisticated creation Anabelle, ‘M3GAN’s appearance and shining grey eyes, immediately evoke curiosity and belie the mayhem she can unleash. It’s a concept that can excite genre fans from miles away. And, even though the plot is largely predictable, it’s the nuances that provide oodles of juicy jumpscares, thrill and high tension moments.
With M3GAN (Amie Donald), we get it all in measured doses, evenly spread out through its swift runtime and an antagonist that is full of curious possibilities. Now, it won’t be a spoiler if we tell you M3GAN’s the kinda devilish doll you can’t get rid of easily, because this new toy has a mind of its own. So, when Gemma pairs her with her niece Cady, the two form a bond that goes way beyond what M3GAN’s creator had imagined. M3GAN’s smart systems and brute strength, power the screenplay with bold twists and gory outcomes that make for an exciting and engaging watch. Don’t question the logic too much because apparently in today’s world of automation and smart internet, anything is possible.
Actor Amie Donald, who was 11 years old at the time of filming, literally breathes life into M3GAN’s robotic savagery, with ease. It’s a smart collaboration of performance, puppeteering, computer graphics and of course, the magic of cinema that brings it all together. If reports are to be believed, much of M3GAN’s physicality came from Amie herself, who performed her own stunts and co-choreographed the dance sequence that has since gone viral on social media. M3GAN’s horror show becomes complete with its creepy doll voice, emulated to perfection by Jenna Davis.
Rest of the performances are just serviceable, but frankly when you have a human-like doll, as the central character with a mysteriously savage edge, it’s hard to bother much about the mere mortals. Without sounding preachy, the film’s story effectively touches upon important issues like a child’s bond with a guardian, PTSD, the horrors of modern-day parenting, especially for a single woman and the over-exposure to technology.
While Gerard Johnstone and his writers unleash M3GAN’s brutality slowly yet ruthlessly, there’s just so much more she could do to enthrall and scare the audience. However, if the climax is anything to go by then we’re sure that a dangerous game has just begun and it’s no child’s play.