Thursday 26 November 2020

Superintelligence (Movie Review)

Nowadays, there aren't many comedic actresses as bankable as Melissa McCarthy. This is not to say that she hasn't been in a number of duds over the years. But with films likes Bridesmaids and Spy under her belt, one should understand why her name carries as much weight as it does. All that is to say that expectations were high going into Superintelligence, her latest film that just released today exclusively on HBO Max.

In Superintelligence, Melissa McCarthy plays Carol Peters, a distinctly average woman who is singled out by a sentient computer program as humanity's last hope for survival. Voiced by James Cordon, the program intends to conduct a test, at the end of which it would choose to either save, enslave or destroy humanity. And the basis for that decision rests upon Carol's ability to convince it by trying to win back the affections of her ex-boyfriend, George (Bobby Canavale).

Superintelligence is a romantic comedy with a science fiction twist. It takes the familiar trope of an old couple getting back together, and adds some end-of-the-world mayhem to help spice things up. And the combination works, mostly because the film never takes itself too seriously. The gags are delivered at a fairly consistent pace, and Melissa McCarthy slips into the role of Carol quite effortlessly. But then again, this is the same role she has played at least half a dozen times now.

James Cordon was also likable as her mostly disembodied sidekick, and their interactions were always a joy to see. Likewise, Bryan Tyree Henry was also fine as her best friend, Dennis, even though he was mostly relegated to providing comic relief. The one area where I felt the film was a bit lacking was the chemistry between its two leads.

Bobby Cannavale was up to task in his role as her ex-boyfriend, but I still found his scenes with Melissa to be rather bland and somewhat forced. The movie never spent enough time establishing their romance, nor did it convincingly tell us by its end why the fate of humanity had to rest on this fairly unremarkable couple.

Superintelligence might not be one of the better Melissa McCarthy vehicles out there, but it is certainly an enjoyable enough ride for anyone looking for a few laughs and some lighthearted romance. 

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