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The piss-cold may see a sumptuous nanar there, Malignant touched on the second ideal that the studios are trying in vain to achieve with a lot of invading neon lights and pseudo-cool replicas. By financing under the noses of the Hollywood cadors (thanks to its influence and its Atomic Monster structure) a worthy heir to the frisky escapades of Frank Henenlotter, hybridizing Dario Argento, Stephen King and The RaidJames Wan was fulfilling a sweaty dream: to force multiplexes to project a potpourri of bad tastes and stylistic slippages, which would have inspired a small cult in the 1980s. It was crazy, generous, disrespectful (poor Pixies), silly as anything, and so much the better.
That being said (and most readers of this article having fled), it is quite natural that the announcement of M3GANalso written by the duo Wan/Cooper, has awakened guilty hopes in us, barely dimmed by the announcement of a PG-13 ranking. And it starts very well. Like its spiritual predecessor and unlike the ground-up stuck horror productions that usually squat the big screens, the movie of Gerard Johnstone proudly brandishes the stupidity of its screenplay.
Judge for yourselves: famous for crafting a faux-Furby that made his bosses rich like Musk, engineer Gemma (Allison Williamsthe Rose of get-out) is secretly working on the development of a miniature Terminator capable of interpreting the emotions and reactions of kids. When her eight-year-old niece, newly orphaned, arrives at her house, she decides to entrust him with this prototype which is not at all threatening.
A deliciously absurd postulate that announces mountains of approximations, flagrant implausibilities and situations more improbable than each other. In the marvelous universe of M3GAN, female engineers revolutionize robotics in their garage in a week, their Frankenstein monsters even manipulate electrical voltage and primary schools gladly let kids roam around the local national highway. Everyone there is irresponsible to the extreme, reckless to the last degree or stupid to eat cable, when it’s not all three at the same time. We are far from the silly goodies of the Conjuringverse and it feels good as much as it makes you smile.
When the toy of the future looks like a stuffed exhibitionist
M3GAN – the doll and the film – rushes headlong towards a pure festival of anything… before changing tack, refusing to go into the uncontrolled skid that had made the singularity of the last hallucinated third of Malignant. Cooper and Wan toss the genre’s classic themes into the grub (dealing with grief, motherhood) in the hope of getting something out of them, without realizing that it considerably increases the stakes which above all did not need it.
Perhaps the initial principle, which the marketers at Universal intend to pass off as yet another tech-savvy outgrowth ofannabelle, isn’t it crazy enough to justify a bit of madness. The staging of Johnstone, yet author of the small independent nugget Housebound in 2014 (itself very funny), is very logically constrained by the rather remarkable characterization of the eponymous character, played both by the young Friend Donald (for the gesture) and Jenna Davis (for voice). Difficult to start with a 360 no-scope sequence shot à la James Wan, at the risk of dispelling the illusion.
“What could go wrong?”, the return
At most he could have shown a tad more generosity. Because it is when M3GAN begins to spin that the film fails to fulfill its promises. With the exception of an almost cartoonish auricular reprimand, the exactions of the doll turn out to be very wise. A few suggestive shots and a feigned jump-scare later… Wrap it up. A passage on automatic pilot all the more embarrassing as it ends up suffering from the comparison with the audacious (yes, yes) remake of child’s playwhich, despite its flaws, told more or less exactly the same thing… with a murder with a lawnmower and without getting out of hand so much in its climax.
Neither big bullshit, nor real horror film, M3GAN will disappoint all its potential audiences. Besides, no one is fooled: if this criticism reaches you days after the first screenings, it is because the embargo signed by the press suggests a certain caution… and a subtle contempt for the public, which will not be yet not necessarily more forgiving than us.