Why M3GAN Reviews Are So Positive
M3GAN is the first blockbuster due out in 2023, and it's doing well with critics so far. Here's what they think of the wicked doll so far.
Horror kicks off in 2023 with Gerard Johnstone-directed M3GAN, which all points to a good start, given the positive reviews it's received so far. Horror continues to thrive on the big screen, with reboots, sequels, and sequels featuring original stories that surprise audiences. These include M3GAN, written by Akela Cooper and James Wan and produced by Wan and Jason Blum, which introduces a new type of killer doll.
M3GAN follows Gemma (Allison Williams), a talented roboticist working for a toy company, who unexpectedly gains custody of her niece Cady (Violet McGraw) after her parents are killed in a car accident. Gemma used artificial intelligence to develop M3GAN, a life-like doll that was programmed to be Cady's best companion and to be Gemma's ally in parenting, but when the doll became self-aware and overprotective of Cady, she began Becomes murderous and starts killing everyone who stands in her way. M3GAN hits theaters on January 6, and so far, it's received positive reviews.
What M3GAN’s Positive Reviews Are Saying
At the time of writing, M3GAN has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, giving This is a (very) fresh certification. Critics have unanimously praised M3GAN for its blend of horror and comedy, as it manages to balance comedic moments with scary ones. The way Cooper and Wan wrote the story was as far away from clichés as possible—meaning less about the orphan and more about the struggles of grief and the pain her aunt went through in different areas of her life—while also being aware of the concept of M3GAN And the absurdity of creation was pointed out as one of the film's strengths, along with the visuals that brought the AI dolls to life. Performances were also praised from Allison Williams, who played an overwhelmed aunt with whom some might eventually bond, and Violet McGraw, who deftly played a child , making her parents sad, but also happy for her new friend's arrival, and later conflicted over said friend's behavior.
M3GAN is not only a combination of comedy and horror, led by an AI doll who offers extreme loyalty and care to her assigned companions, but it also deals with darker and more serious issues, from different stages of grief to The dark side of capitalism, for that alone deserves the film's praise. The following are positive reviews of M3GAN.
“The eponymous character gets brought to life through impressive effects by Adrien Morot and Kathy Tse, Amie Donald’s uncanny physical performance, and Jenna Davis’s haunting voicework. She exudes menace through facial expressions and jerky movements that trigger that unsettling uncanny valley. This is M3GAN’s movie, and she more than earns it through an immensely talented team. She’s aided by a sympathetic turn from Williams, who successfully prevents Gemma from losing rooting interest despite fumbling hard with Cady. McGraw holds her own against her AI scene-stealer, no small feat considering the nuanced stages of grief she cycles.”
“M3GAN herself is a marvel. Created with a combination of puppetry, animatronics, VFX, and a human actor (Amie Donald, with a voice by Jenna Davis), it's hard to tell when she is real, when she is fake, and when she is a combination. The sound design of M3GAN certainly helps the illusion of the character. With virtually every step, M3GAN whirred and clicked, the sounds of gears moving. Not loud enough to be obnoxious, just noticeable, so that it's clear M3GAN is a robot. Jenna Davis brings an especially joyous vocalization to M3GAN, making her sound both lighthearted and somehow ominous.”
“Allison Williams (who made her mark in horror in Jordan Peele's Get Out) solidly grounds the human drama within this scary sci-fi premise of a killer doll. With an identity defined by her ambition and work, Gemma struggles when her grief-stricken niece needs her attention and the kid's failure to understand the difference between toys and collectibles. Her anxieties about parenthood versus selfhood are radiant, making the audience's skin crawl in recognition.”
“The result is a deliciously camp hour-and-forty-five minutes of frights. Sure, there’s a Frankensteinian fable in here somewhere about the dangers of letting technology replace real-life human connection – but finding it requires sifting through piles of bodies (and the occasional ripped-off ear). M3GAN, you see, is all about fun – a fact made startlingly clear in its hilarious opening scene, mimicking a Saturday morning kids TV advert.”
“The MVP of "M3GAN," however, is the young Violet McGraw, whose multifaceted performance adeptly showcases the emotional intensity of Cady's situation. The film smartly lets Cady actually go through grief and resentment, lash out in anger, and desperately reach for support. It takes these psychological issues seriously — a key part of the film is the question of the mental health impact of letting an emotionally vulnerable girl attach to an android — and McGraw's performance really lands.”
What Critics Don't Like About M3GAN
Of course, not everything about M3GAN was a hit, and even some aspects praised by some were not favorites of others. One of the weaknesses that critics have identified is M3GAN's lack of twists and shocking moments, which makes it predictable since it's clear from the moment they're introduced which characters will fall victim to the Killer Dolls. M3GAN also doesn't have many graphic scenes, reserving the gore and killing for off-screen moments, which disappointed some, especially when comparing the film to Wan's previous work, most recently Maleficent. M3GAN's PG-13 rating was cited as the culprit for the lack of kills and bloodshed on screen, and it seems like a few scenes were added just to maintain that rating.
The combination of comedy and horror, while praised by many, was criticized by others who found M3GAN relied too much on silly moments (such as a viral dance scene) and ended up screwing it up The rhythm and tone of the story. Beyond that, the human characters are marked as two-dimensional, and it's hard to relate to them, thus caring what happens to them at the hands of this evil doll. Below are negative reviews of M3GAN.
“The thing is, M3GAN sporadically seems to be winking at the audience, but also wants you to actually be invested in it. This isn’t a comprehensive enough work to have it both ways. Again, the audience seems to be doing the work for it, hooting and hollering at some moments meant to be played straight.”
"“M3GAN” stocks up on jump scares and keeps the violence PG-13, but fails to make us care about any of the humans in the path of M3GAN. Each character is a rote as an assembly-line toy."
Critics were divided on M3GAN's quality as a horror film, largely because of its mix of comedy and horror, though much of that came from comparing it to Wan's previous work. They all seem to agree that there's a lot of impressive work and talent involved in bringing the dolls to life in a way that's charming but also terrifying, and that M3GAN has the potential to be a cult horror movie, though it may take some time to get there.