Is 'M3GAN' Babysitter-Worthy?
You're a parent. You're busy. And, if you're anything like me, the last time you paid to see a movie in the theater, it was back when we thought COVID would be over by the time Pete Davidson had found another out-of-his-league woman to date.
But maybe you're ready to get out there again. Maybe you saw "Top Gun: Maverick" in the theater and thought: "Hey, I remember this! Popcorn! Candy! Watching a movie without falling asleep on the couch halfway through!"
With that in mind, I watched the new movie "M3GAN" with the intent of reviewing it for the great uncool masses -- for parents.
Running time: 1 hour, 42 minutes. My husband wanted to see "Avatar: The Way of the Water," which has a 3-hour, 12-minute running time. Show me a 3-hour-long movie and I'll show you a director who hasn't seen the inside of a grocery store in at least 20 years. There's something particularly obnoxious about a science fiction director who thinks it's better that his audience gets UTIs than he cut an hour out of his movie. It's not "Schindler's List." It's about blue people. I haven't seen it and I can already tell you what to cut: The part where the camera slowly pans around the computer-generated seascape for 20 minutes. While my husband was stuck in "Avatar: Which Way to the Restroom?" for so long that his clothes went out of style, I watched a movie, then ambled around the mall window-shopping. I picked out two handmade Ukrainian Christmas ornaments in an after-season sale. I bought and ate a warm pretzel covered in butter and salt. My husband said everyone watching "Avatar" missed at least one key scene while they were going to the bathroom. I only gloated a little bit afterward.
Cast: The main character is played by that one woman from that one show where they were trying to shock you all the time with the nudity and sex and drug use. You know, the show I tried to watch but stopped after finally admitting to myself I'm not as carefree and cool as I would like to be. She's the actress whose dad is famous, too. He was a news anchor and then there was a scandal. I think he said he stormed the beaches of Normandy and then it came out he was just at home eating ice cream and watching Netflix? Anyway, her. And then there's a guy in "M3GAN"; he's from "Crazy Rich Asians" but not the hot guy. I mean, he's OK, just he's no Henry Golding is all. He's funny, though.
Plot: "M3GAN" is "Chucky" on TikTok. It's scary but not too scary, silly but not dumb and fun but not obnoxious. It also had something going for it that very few movies do these days: It featured a staggering lack of politics. "M3GAN" wasn't about global warming or race relations or the collective trauma we've suffered as a result of the green M&M having her high heels taken away. One of the best things about movies is the way they allow us to turn our brains off for the short time we're watching (or for the really, really long time, if it's a James Cameron movie). Oscar-bait movies notwithstanding, the best films are the ones that entertain as much as, if not more than, they challenge. I've never been a fan of movies that seem to think that the more the audience suffers, the more artistically worthwhile the film is. Morals are fine, sure, but only when painted with a light touch. The only moral to be learned from "M3GAN" is that parents who give their kids too much screen time are basically turning them into serial killers. Yawn. Moms already feel horrible, crippling guilt every time they turn on an electronic device for their kids. Do your worst, Hollywood.
The upshot: When it comes to the ultimate test, whether or not "M3GAN" is babysitter-worthy, I say yes. And you won't fall asleep in the middle of it. Unless you have a newborn, in which case, may I suggest "Avatar"?
To learn more about Georgia Garvey, visit GeorgiaGarvey.com.
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