Sometimes the trailer for a movie doesn’t excite like the film producers hope it would, but then sometimes, the actual film can win the appreciation of audiences. The Mitchells vs the Machines is one of those films. On first impression it look like one more overly busy animated feature, but this movie about one family battling an army of machines makes for a fun family film.
Katie Mitchell (voice of Abbi Jacobson) grew up in a loving family, but as she got older and yearned to become a filmmaker, she discovered that her father, Rick (Danny McBride), didn’t feel the same enthusiasm about her dreams. Actually, he almost seemed dismissive. Rick, who worked hard to be a great father to Katie and Aaron (Michael Rianda), can’t understand why Katie is excited about leaving the family and heading off to film school. In a last-ditch attempt for some bonding, he decides on a family road trip to drive her across the country to film school. Then the robot apocalypse occurs.
When the machines take over, grabbing every human to send them into space, it falls to the Mitchells to save the day. Even the hyper-capable and always-attractive neighbors, the Poseys (Chrissy Teigen and John Legend), are no match for the robots’ plan for world domination. Can the less-than-perfect Mitchells find a way to stop the machines?
The fun in the movie is its ability to zig when you think it will zag. It also highlights what happens when our device-connected world is used by an artificial intelligence to overpower humans. Whether it’s kitchen appliances out to get the Mitchells or menacing electronic Furby toys, Katie and Aaron with their parents, Rick and Linda (Maya Rudolph), won’t have an easy job of saving everyone.
The script is clever, and though the setup seems typical with its parent and child battles, it finds a way to bring something new to the plot. The script and animation provide plenty of laugh-out-loud moments too through the antics of Monchi, the dog, and the not-so-tech-savvy Rick.
The animation is colorful with lots of fun action scenes. Plus, with additional voice work from Olivia Colman, Eric André, Fred Armisen and Beck Bennett, the characters deliver some great lines. The Mitchells vs the Machines turns out to be a fun and enjoyable movie for every member of the family.