‘Mother/Android’ Dark, Dull, Depressing

For the past five years of so, Hollywood has been trying so much to sexualize Chloe Grace Moretz that I think she’s choosing to do movies like Mother/Android to show that she’s not a piece of meat. That Neighbors sequel seem to care more about her in a bikini than anything else and even before that, she was a victim of the pedophiles in Hollywood who were quick to hoist her up as jailbait fantasy the moment she started going through puberty.

Moretz might be one of those former child actors to survive the temptations of substance abuse and partying but I hope she hasn’t done her best stuff yet. She turns 25 next month and I hope since she’ll be allowed to rent a car without extra charges, maybe she can pursue better acting roles. Mother/Android is a title that implies something that it doesn’t really deliver on.

Now that zombies have been done to death (forgive the pun), Hollywood producers are going back to the basics of post-apocalyptic movies by giving us androids that turn deadly. However, it just replaces the zombies with artificial intelligence gone haywire. After watching this, it’s no wonder Steven Spielberg backed out of adapting Robocalypse as it would just replace zombies with robots.

Set in an unknown future setting but not far off in the future when people have cyborgs, androids or whatever serving as the help, things go amuck on a Christmas Eve night at a party being attended by Georgia (Moretz) and her boyfriend, Sam (Algee Smith). There’s so much to explore here but the movie doesn’t with how the androids are reduced to work and even treated badly by people.

Just a little earlier, Georgia and Sam were in a bathroom at her house as they were discussing a pregnancy test. They have a talk but it’s obvious they’ve been having problems in their relationship as they go to the party. An android confuses Halloween with Christmas as he wishes the young people offer hinting the shitstorm that is approaching. While Georgia is talking to one of her friends, there is a loud ear-piercing shrill as screams are heard in the other room. The android servant is going violent and killing people. After subduing it, Sam and Georgia run outside with survivors to see scenes of chaos and carnage. But since they don’t have their cell phones, they survive, as the cell phones exploded killing their friends.

Let be say that if you’re expecting for this to be explained further in the movie, it doesn’t. Did the AI become self-aware and set this off? Or was it set earlier on by someone who wanted humanity to end? Is it a statement on how we rely too much on AI that people are always on their phones? Who knows? It’s never answered. This is the worst payoff of a sci-fi movie since the 1988 Alien Nation ended up becoming just a police procedural crime movie about drug-dealing aliens.

It’s a nice prologue and has more action than much of the rest of the movie which mostly consists of Sam and Georgia walking through the woods and Sam making so many bad decisions you know he’ll end up dying before the end credits roll. The rest of the movie is set nine months later when Georgia is about to pop, but the time-line doesn’t add up. Sam and Georgia would’ve had to conceive around Thanksgiving time for her to notice something was wrong after being late for her period.

So, it would be really eight months later. Because nine months after Christmas would be late September and Georgia would’ve been overdue by a month and hardly be able to travel. I must also mention that even though it’s set in September, the woods look more like it’s October. For some reason, Sam is adamant they make it to Boston because they’ve heard that they can make it to Asia on a boat. Of course, you don’t need to be Nostradamus to realize that what they’ve heard about the boats leaving Boston isn’t real. Even if you’ve seen The Grapes of Wrath, you know what’s print on a handbill isn’t the gospel.

Since writer/director Mattson Tomlin can’t come up with an original idea, he just throws together a bunch of tropes to fill out a very long movie that is almost two hours but really doesn’t have enough material to be under and hour and a half. They arrive at an outpost, are given the third degree by military soldiers who are quick to violence (just like in every one of these movies) including shooting a person for having metal from a hip replacement surgery. But rather than focus on this, Sam fucks things up bringing in the crazy strict tyrannical commanding officer who’s always in these movies who banishes them off the post. I seriously doubt a military man would’ve let a pregnant woman who was about to go into labor if she sneezed too hard leave an outpost.

I even thought Tomlin might add some social commentary since Sam is black and Georgia is white, but nope. They’re off to the next trope – the abandoned home where they could take up residency to seek shelter. But nope, Stupid Sam finds a motorcycle and goes to work on it saying they’re about 20 miles away from Boston even though they keep walking around the same wooded terrain that is in a lot of these movies. You feel it was either filmed on someone’s land where rich people use to hunt or a national park area where the campsites are a few hundred yards away outside of camera view.

The fact that Georgia keeps putting up with Sam is supposed to mean that she loves him or has grown to love him more during the new world. However, I got the sense at the beginning when she was talking with her friend, Georgia was going to have an abortion and dump Sam. They literally have no chemistry and seem to be a couple for the fact that they’re together. If Sam really did care for Georgia, he would’ve been glad they were at the outpost where she could get medical attention and have her baby. Tomlin doesn’t even give Sam a good reason for wanting to leave from Boston. He just wants to sail to Asia.

It’s here where the movie seems more like a zombie flick as they try to outrun the androids and a new mysterious character is introduced through Arthur (Raul Castillo). And if you haven’t lost interest yet, you will now because something really outrageous happens that I found myself wondering that Tomlin just run out of ideas.

If you’ve seen 28 Days Later or any other movie like this, you know there’s more to Arthur. Also, like Bird Box, it doesn’t know what it wants to focus on. And it has a more confusing climax that for lack of a better term is a deus ex machina. Mother/Android had gotten so many bad reviews that I didn’t want to watch it but took it on a whim because sometimes I find things I like.

I didn’t like anything here, except for Moretz trying her hardest to keep this movie going. Sometimes actors need to be recognized for their abilities to keep bad movies watchable. Moretz does her best and hopefully as she gets older, she’ll get better roles. Like Jodie Foster, she seems to be struggling for that one perfect role to establish as a grown-up actress.

And she’ll be able to forget about movies like this.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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