Starring: Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, Amie Donald, Jenna Davis, Jen Van Epps, Brian Jordan Alvarez, Jack Cassidy, Ronny Chieng, Lori Dungey, and Stephane Garneau-Monten
Director: Gerard Johnstone
From the outset, one can tell that M3GAN is very much in on the joke found in its marketing, and it’s a lot of fun to watch it reach the punchline. Although it doesn’t do much that’s decidedly original, the thriller has more going for it than meets the eye (especially concerning childhood emotional health), and the titular doll is as much of a skeezy weirdo as anyone could hope for. Allison Williams and Violet McGraw have enough solid chemistry to keep things engaging even when she isn’t on screen, but M3GAN is very much the star.
M3GAN is a decent enough movie that it will help moviegoers make it through the January doldrums. Allison Williams and Violet McGraw's chemistry (or lack thereof), along with Jenna Davis' voice work, make for a well-crafted warning on the dangers of irresponsible science and creation without thought for the consequences. While there are few (if any) surprises throughout the film, Gerard Johnstone's competent direction compensates for it, framing M3GAN in ways that both amuse and unsettle. Thanks to the combined efforts of Johnstone, Williams, and the production team, Chucky no longer corners the market on sadistic killer child dolls.
M3GAN is one of those movies where I got exactly what I was expecting, and I love that about it. I do think an R rating could have maybe propelled it to wilder extremes, and the trailer gave away most of the craziness, but the movie offered enough bonkers comedy mixed with creepiness that I had a fun time, nonetheless. And what’s shocking is that, amongst the chaos, there’s a sweet little message hidden in there about parenting. I can say without a sliver of doubt in my mind that M3GAN is already a horror icon.
M3GAN is a film that lives up to its potential, but never comes close to exceeding it. At this point in my life, I've seen my fair share of killer doll movies, and while M3GAN is a worthy addition to the genre, it doesn't do much to reinvent the wheel. I couldn't help but think that maybe the studio lost something in chasing the PG-13 rating since the film comes off as more of a comedy than a horror film. Still, I enjoyed the film’s commentary on children and technology, but I wanted more scares and gore.
Watch out Chucky, we have a new killer doll on our hands and she’s batshit crazy! M3GAN is pretty much an American Girl doll on crack, and the best way to describe the film is Chucky meets The Terminator. It’s a bonkers film that knows exactly what it is and uses that to its advantage, with producers Jason Blum and James Wan cooking up a hella entertaining flick that is campy fun. I personally feel that they played it a little too safe, and I would have loved to see what they could have done with an R rating, but for what it is, it works.
Given that it’s January – the dead zone of the cinematic year – you can certainly do worse than M3GAN. That said, it’s not a good movie; it’s merely a good-for-January movie. Ultimately, it’s just not scary enough to be good horror or funny enough to be good camp. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure some of the funnier parts were even intentional, which can certainly skew one’s view (i.e., is it in on the joke or not? Is it a so-bad-it’s-good movie?). I admit that there is an inherent creepiness factor in M3GAN’s character design, but the movie itself is hamstrung by the PG-13 rating.
M3GAN is such a fun way to ring in 2023 at the movies because it’s a cleverly written film that offers far more than meets the eye. While it may be lacking in gore, it’s never short on laughs, and it will keep your attention the whole way through. It also offers a thorough critique of technology and our dependence on it. I can only hope this isn’t the last we see of M3GAN because she definitely gives Chucky a run for his money.