The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Written & Directed by: Michael Rianda, Jeff Rowe
Hong Kong/U.S.A., 2021
How good is this movie?
A fun, wacky adventure about a group of characters who are both goofy and easy to relate to. The premise – machines go evil and try to kill everyone; a group of ordinary humans save the world – is so well-worn it could easily be called cliché, and the jokes are so timely I suspect they will rapidly become dated. Yet the story is tight enough and the style is fresh enough to keep the movie engaging. Meanwhile, the film’s most important themes – family, empathy, and intergenerational bonding – aren’t so much hackneyed as timeless. Over-all it’s a great piece of entertainment for and about 21st-century families.
How ace is this movie?
Katie Mitchell is gay. That fact only gets the briefest mention and has no direct bearing on her story, but she does struggle (for reasons unconnected with her sexuality) to make her parents understand her, much like many queer and ace people. All the main characters, including Katie, have some kind of romantic or potential romantic interest. However, romance plays little role in the story. The focus is instead on familial relationships, and particularly the one between Katie and her dad.
3 Stars; 3 Aces