Blumhouse and James Wan are back with a campy Ultron on steroids in a little doll’s body, doing TikTok dances to give you the chills in mid-January. For a movie that is more comedy than horror, “M3GAN” happens to be doing impressively well on the horror circuit because of its commitment to absurdity. “Malignant” could never be. It’s not the first time we’re seeing technophobia in the genre, and as the cycle continues, “M3GAN” could possibly lead us into a new wave of AI-driven sub-genre films. Not to imply that the film is much deeper than it appears, but with its genius marketing and the film’s absolute sass, audiences are sure to expect sequels. The film expertly “touches” on the themes of childhood trauma, the effects of technology on kids today, screen time, AI, and grief but manages to remain comical and lightweight, opening a portal of thoughts in one’s mind. Sia’s “Titanium” will never be the same.
‘M3GAN’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
The film opens hilariously with an advertisement for a furry toy pet that is “purfection” for every child’s pet needs. The scene cuts to a family of three on a ski trip in a car, driving through some heavy snow. The parents are arguing, and the little girl in the back seat is accessing her iPad to make the furry pet talk. Unfortunately, they collide head-first into a snow truck, and both parents lose their lives in the accident. Cady, the little girl, is then sent to live with her guardian, her aunt Gemma. Gemma is every parent’s nightmare because she works at a tech company named “Funki” and creates those robot dolls that Cady loves to play with. Her home is filled with gadgets and collectibles that Cady should not get her hands on, and the two of them begin their time together with a rough start. She even has her own version of a talking speaker named Elsie who welcomes Gemma back home as they enter the house. As they have a visit with the counselor, it is clear that Gemma is not well equipped to care for a child. The two can’t seem to speak about their grief, and instead of relying on each other for support, they cry in their own separate rooms. In the middle of all this, Gemma is on a strict deadline to launch a new furry product because competitive brands have started to replicate their high-tech product for a low cost, but she’s been focused on producing a highly intelligent AI toy (that the company never asked for), spending millions of company dollars. When her boss, David, finds out about this toy, he gets furious and tells Gemma to produce the newer, cheaper version of the furry toy immediately.
All this was happening at the same time that Gemma lost her sister and brother-in-law and got handed Cady’s responsibility. Then one night, Gemma has to work on her product and tells Cady she’ll be right down the hall but to hold up for just a couple of hours. It ends up being more than a few hours, and Cady walks into Gemma’s workspace. Gemma feels terrible, and Cady shows her a drawing, explaining how she can never get animal features right. Gemma, being a designer herself, can relate, and the two share a small moment. Cady then sees a giant robot in the room and asks Gemma what it is. Gemma shows Cady how it works and tells her it’s what she built as a college project, but “Bruce,” the robot, is too expensive for anyone to buy. Cady, who finds Bruce extremely fascinating, lets Gemma know that if she had a toy like that, she wouldn’t need another one (yay, capitalism!). Driven by Cady’s words, Gemma leaves behind the fur toy and impatiently works on getting M3GAN, the Model 3 generative android, ready. She calls David to come to see her amazing innovation and sets up Cady as the test subject for M3GAN. The robot doll gets paired with the child she interacts with as the primary subject and uses a learning model to have real conversations and interactions with the said child. M3GAN is paired with Cady. David is impressed immediately and tells Gemma to prepare a presentation for the board.
Meanwhile, while playing games, Cady accidentally loses her arrow on the neighbor’s lawn, and M3GAN goes to get it. She’s snatched by the ferocious dog, and when Cady tries to save her, she gets bitten too. Gemma is furious and talks about “putting the dog down” because it’s always on her property. M3GAN overhears all of this and proceeds to kill the dog (fortunately, with no graphic details). After this, things escalate rather quickly, and M3GAN, whose primary function is protecting Cady from physical and mental harm, starts to take her directives rather seriously. In front of the board, things go extremely well as Cady ends up having a breakdown, and M3GAN saves the day by “saving Cady’s memories” in “her heart.” Highly impressed, the board decides to launch the product. Gemma realizes she never managed to activate parental controls on M3GAN and pairs with her as second in control. As the launch gets closer, Cady starts to show signs of withdrawal when M3GAN is away. Cady gets furious and violent and doesn’t listen to anyone when M3GAN isn’t around.
At an outdoor school activity, Cady ends up being paired with a troubled young kid who ends up hurting her, and M3GAN, who was supposed to be in the doll area, comes to save the day. M3GAN is extremely strong and rips the boy’s ear off before chasing him onto the road, where he gets hit by a car. Later, back at home, she deems the neighbor a threat too, and kills her with the chemicals she used to use on her own lawn. Gemma puts two and two together and believes that the robot doll is not fit for launch, but it’s too late. As the launch is about to happen, she confronts Cady and tells her that she will take care of her just as her mom did and that M3GAN is not real. That things will be alright with just the two of them. But will they?
‘M3GAN’ Ending Explained – Is M3GAN Truly Dead?
The last act of the film begins with M3GAN attacking her makers and blowing up their tech room, then hilariously transitioning to M3GAN’s infamous TikTok-style dance as she grabs a paper-cutter blade and hunts down David. She kills David and his assistant Kurt (who leaked company secrets), revealing that the blame would be put on Kurt, who was found out by David, who he then killed in a jealous fit. Then he proceeded to kill himself for the terrible thing he did. M3GAN storms out of the building as people react vividly to the two bodies, and then drives off in a sports vehicle (Savage Level max). She managed to stock Cady and Gemma all the way back home. Gemma is terrified by what she has created and tries her best to distract M3GAN to turn her off. Unfortunately, M3GAN’s learning system allows her to disregard these protocols and commands. M3GAN puts Gemma down on the table as Cady hears the sound of their arguments, and Gemma convinces Cady that everything is alright. Gemma manages to smash a glass of water on M3GAN’s head, but it only ends up making her glitch a little bit (making her walk zombie-style). Gemma then shoves a chainsaw-Esque machine down M3GAN’s head and only manages to rip some of her hair out before M3GAN casually suggests to Gemma that she will lobotomize her in order to live with Cady for the rest of her life. Cady leaves her room due to the commotion and manages to grab Bruce’s gloves.
M3GAN tries to convince her to join in on paralyzing Gemma before Cady makes Bruce fling M3GAN, Hulk style, and rip her into two halves. Unfortunately for them, this isn’t enough, and M3GAN crawls out and grabs Gemma. Finally, Cady manages to stick a screwdriver into M3GAN’s “brain” and kill her. They walk out of the house alive before we hear Elsie turn the lights back on. It is safe to presume that M3GAN has managed to upload her consciousness onto the server, essentially becoming omnipresent on the internet. While the physical form of M3GAN is dead, her mind is everywhere. Also, considering Kurt leaked M3GAN’s code, many other companies may be creating more M3GANs as you read this article! Jokes aside, though, it is very plausible that we get a “M3GAN” sequel, and we’d love to see a grown-up Cady trying to deal with the loss of her parental replacement. M3GAN’s learning system is highly advanced, and Gemma herself doesn’t understand what she’s created. Cady has been homeschooled and has no social skills, causing her to get overly attached to the robot doll, as conveyed by the counselor. A true horror for parents who may never want their children to interact with any form of AI again! We’re definitely looking forward to a gorier sequel because all we’re slightly disappointed about is the M3GAN’s kill count! “The Terminator” who? We only know M3GAN!
“M3GAN” is a 2023 sci-fi horror film directed by Gerard Johnstone.