While I’m a sucker for sci-fi, comedy and animation I wasn’t too sure that The Mitchells vs. the Machines movie was going to be any good. I know, I know I shouldn’t just a flick based on the synopsis, but I felt like I had heard this plot before. Like in I, Robot and Robocop and the Terminator, but of course none of those were animated nor did they interest my children.
So, when my middle child asked if we could have a Friday movie night to watch a new movie on Netflix called, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, I smiled and said, “Sure buddy.” The movie was directed by Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe, at the very least it would end up being amusing.
We ordered pizza, my oldest son went to pick it up at Riveria, a local mom & pop shop we love, and we all sat down to watch this new flick.
Right off the bat, my daughter, the youngest of our crew at 8-years-old was laughing. I smiled to myself thinking, “This is good, look at us, we’re eating pizza together on a Friday night and enjoying ourselves as a family” At that point it didn’t matter if the movie ended up terrible, it was already a win for this mama. Even if Katie Mitchell, the narrator, and protagonist of this movie were irritating me by only seeing what she deemed to be weaknesses about her family.
I had no idea
Truth be told, I thought I was predicting the outcome within minutes. I mean they start the movie by showing you part of the end of the movie. It’s completely obvious to me who the antagonist will be and I actually rolled my eyes pretty hard when at just how obvious they made it. So then I’m already feeling bored because I know what was going to happen, or did I?
About 30 minutes into the movie, longer than it should have taken, I realized this movie is not just sci-fi, comedy, animation, robots take over the world movie, it’s also a movie about father-daughter drama, the fact that we’re all attached to our gadgets far too much, spend too much time comparing ourselves to what we deem someone else’s perfect life based on their social media and the overall theme here is the importance of family.
The gist without the details, no need for a spoiler alert here.
Katie Mitchell is a self-proclaimed weird teenager who is ready to head to the west coast for college where she feels her true “people” are and she’ll fit in. She wants to make films, and she does. She’s has a well-followed YouTube channel and has been creating funny short films since she was just a little girl. Her younger brother Aaron idolizes her and feathered dinosaurs, her Mom Linda is proud of her and enjoys giving out gold stars and her Dad Rick has no idea what to say to her or acknowledge that he’s terrified of losing her after she goes to college. He’s also super into nature, fancies himself a bit of a survivalist, but knows nothing about technology.
The breakdown in communication is so far gone between Katie and her Dad that there are times when the Mom and brother hold up dialogue cards in the background. It’s comical.
Oh yeah, and robots are taking over the world with a plan to shoot all the humans into space forever.
Sharing some of the bits
While I was watching the movie I was mentally counting the scenes to share and if you know me that would have meant extreme detail and play-by-play commentary. I wanted to give you a complete rundown of the cat filters, talking pugs, pterodactyls and scary giant Furby dolls because they are important details. I wanted to tell you that I semi-sympathized with Pal, especially when she talks about ignored phone calls and WiFi dependency.
“Families can be hard, but they’re so worth fighting for. They might be one of the only things that are.” – Katie Mitchell
The animation is done super well and the music is spot on. The movie is family-friendly, LGBT friendly, it could have been more representative, but it tries. There isn’t one profanity uttered, that I caught anyway, and Mom Linda ends up being a total badass!
This movie ended up stealing my heart in such a way that instead of sharing every tiny bit, I’m asking you to watch it instead. Watch it alone, watch it with your partner, have your own pizza family movie night, but just promise me that you’ll watch it.