The Mitchells vs the Machines
Might contain spoilers.
Decent and easily forgotten. The characters are meant to be quirky and endearing misfits but I found them quite unlikeable. Even their designs are unappealing. I don’t much care for the story’s deification of its idea of weirdness—I think it reflects a limited view of the world. Human beings tend to be much stranger than what this movie offers, which is neither good nor bad but simply reality.
The constant (often blatant and explicit) jibes at the big technology companies were excellent and I really enjoyed the hilarious, supposedly defective PAL bots. I didn’t like Doug the Pug being a constant punchline, though. The little Impressionistic touches in certain sequences, such as when the robots first attack and leave a trail across the sky, are lovely, whereas the cartoonish text and effects that appear here and there are less successful.
The last third drops all pretensions of logic and becomes a sequence of events that occurred because the story needed them to, like Rick’s screwdriver being the only thing that could unlock the cells. Unfortunately, it has neither the audacity nor the self-awareness to revel in the absurdity. (As an aside, did PAL really not copy herself to any other machines? Did this all-powerful A.I. really have just one copy of herself inside one fragile phone?)
I watched the movie in two sittings because of being sick, and I was fooled both times by the opening strains of Live Your Life by Rihanna, an unimpressive song that samples the classic Dragostea din teï by O-Zone. I did have fun rediscovering Gary Brolsma’s Numa Numa video and reminiscing about happier times, so I can forgive the misdirection.