tek's rating: ¾

M3GAN (PG-13/unrated)
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The movie's title is pronounced "Megan", but I like to call it "Emthreegan". Still, I guess I'll just write it as "Megan" throughout the review, because that's faster than typing M3GAN. (It's short for "Model 3 Generative Android", btw.) Anyway, the title character is an android that looks like a girl around ten years old, and she's portrayed physically by both a child actress/dancer and animatronic puppets. She's voiced by an adult doing a childlike voice. All these things come together to produce a perfect "uncanny valley" effect, which adds to the movie's eventual horror elements.

It begins with a commercial for toys called Purrpetual Petz (which kind of remind me of Furbies). Then we see a 9-year-old girl named Cady playing with one of those toys in a car. She and her parents are on their way to a ski trip, but the car gets hit by a snow plow, killing both of Cady's parents. So she goes to stay with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams), who works at Funki, the company that makes Purrpetual Petz. She and her coworkers, Tess and Cole, are supposed to be developing a new, cheaper version of the toy, but they've secretly been working on an android called Megan, which upsets their boss, David (Ronny Chieng). But once Megan is completed and paired with Cady, David is convinced of the android's potential, and wants to start a new "toy" line of androids.

Cady becomes emotionally attached to Megan, to an unhealthy degree. And Megan goes to terrifying lengths to protect her from any harm, either physical or emotional. Her artificial intelligence programming is designed to learn on its own, and she becomes smarter than expected, and... I dunno, everything just goes completely off the rails. And of course, once Gemma realizes Megan has started killing people to protect Cady, she wants to shut Megan down and stop the launch of the android toy line. But Megan becomes even more concerned with protecting her own existence than protecting Cady, which leads to her turning against Gemma.

And that's all I want to say about the plot. The movie has some fun humor, to the point that some people consider it a horror comedy, but I don't. (I guess it's not just the humor, but the whole premise of the movie that they consider comical.) I do like a lot of Megan's dialogue and her sense of humor, though. She really is a creepy character, but can also be sweet towards Cady. Other than that... the film has a theme of parents ceding much of their child raising duties to technology (although Cady's parents wanted to limit her screen time). Gemma didn't feel ready to take care of Cady, especially considering how busy she was at work, but Cady's therapist, Lydia, was concerned about how attached Cady got to Megan. And I guess I don't know what else to tell you. But I found it to be genuinely scary, in some parts, but still fun. And a sequel is already being planned.

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