The Mitchells vs. The Machines
- Genre: Crazy sci-fi animation with comedy undertones
- Director: Michael Rianda
- Where to watch: Netflix
It's an unusual film that winks both at the older, and – what isn't so obvious – younger viewers. The Mitchells vs. The Machines makes quite an average first impression, at least judging by the trailer. Not to say weak. Just another family film which emphasizes the strength of family ties. The trailer isn't very gripping at all; it only roughly outlines the plot, which in this case is a misunderstanding between the father (a fanatic of low-level survival) and the daughter (an enthusiast of the Internet and social media culture). However, as it turns out during the screening, this is a really good trailer.
The story revolves around the theme we know from the Terminator series. Here, the artificial intelligence becomes self-aware enough to show a desire to take over the world. The protagonists are the sole survivors of robot raids – the aforementioned father of the family, Rick, and his daughter Katie with other family members as side characters – mother Linda, who wants her family to get along better, and son Aaron, who's mainly interested in dinosaurs. The robot attacks start when the family drives Rick's old car to take Katie to college at the start of the academic year. Arguments begin right at the start of the trip. Obviously, in the face of a threat from household appliances and electronics, the Mitchells must unite.
This movie's strength lies in the winks at the wide audience that we mentioned at the beginning. The meta-jokes in The Mitchells can be understood by any generation, though they have been directed at different age groups. The creators laugh at the elders' inability to comprehend new technologies in under one minute, only to joke about the teenagers' addition to the Internet in the next scene. However, the film maintains good balance. There is room for reflection, but these moments don't last, keeping the movie's momentum and plot continuity. The movie also had no hidden malice; nobody is judged. On no occasion is the humor in The Mitchells marked by judgmentalism.
Despite the obviously huge amount of money invested in the film and the big company (Sony) behind it, you can see that a lot of heart and effort has been put into The Mitchells to give a human elegance to the animated avatars. In my opinion – a complete success. The film receives great reviews, and it seems that it might be going for the best animation title of this year.
THE ROBOT APOCALYPSE - WHY DOES IT SOUND FAMILIAR?
Anti-utopias, in which artificial intelligence tries to take over the world, is a great topic for filmmakers. First of all, the sci-fi atmosphere has long had a fan core among the film lovers. Secondly, cinema likes action and explosions, and the roboapocalypse means exactly that (sometimes even much, much more of it). From Blade Runner , to Terminators (1 and 2, obviously), to the Matrix and Ex Machina from 2015 - these are often classics, and frequently also great movies even today.