M3GAN, part horror and part parable, tells the story of an out of control robot doll. The M3GAN doll definitely did not follow Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics. She went rogue.
Just to review, let’s take a look at Asimov’s laws: The first law is that a robot shall not harm a human, or by inaction allow a human to come to harm. The second law is that a robot shall obey any instruction given to it by a human. The third law is that a robot shall avoid actions or situations that could cause it to come to harm itself.
M3GAN broke them all.
I loved the femaleness of this film. The M3GAN doll was a pretty blonde with a sweet voice. The “doll” was played by Amie Donald. The perfect little girl. Except, nope.
Her creator was a woman scientist Gemma (Allison Williams). Gemma worked for a toy company that made AI (Artificial Intelligence) enhanced toys for kids.
When her niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), lost both parents, she came to live with Gemma. Needing ideas as to how to deal with the child, Gemma brought home the prototype doll as a plaything for Cady.
Cady quickly attached to the doll, which was learning all the time and taking over everything. When the robot started turning violent in defense of Cady, it took Gemma a while to figure it out.
Meanwhile Gemma’s horrid boss, David (Ronny Chieng), planned a big release of the doll at $10,000 a pop to the general public. Just in time, Gemma realized her programming was so faulty it allowed the doll to grow into a killer.
In keeping with the female oriented nature of the horror story, when the time came to do something about the murderous doll, it was the female characters who solved the problem. Perfect.
AI that has the ability to learn and poke its electronic fingers into any digital device is one of the more scary aspects of modern life. This well-told story will give pause to thinkers who are concerned about where we’re heading. It ends with a silent reminder that an artificial intelligence that can find ways to eliminate pesky neighbors can replicate itself in ways that don’t catch the attention of humans. It’s invisible electrons moving unnoticed between devices – will electrons be running the world one day?
The film is available on Peacock with a subscription or can be rented from Amazon Prime.
2 responses to “M3GAN, did you say you were worried about AI?”
Just a quick note that, it seems halfway through the review, the lead character’s name switched from Gemma to Cassie. Or perhaps I’m not understanding who is who?
Oh, you’re right. I’ll fix that when I’m home again. Thanks.