Review by Camden Ferrell
How does one navigate an apocalypse and impending maternity? This is what writer/director Matson Tomlin’s newest film ponders. Mother/Android follows a couple on a harrowing journey to seek refuge to deliver their baby among a perilous android uprising. The film unfortunately falls flat due to weak writing, poor execution, and a collection of ideas that have been done countless times before.
From the start, the movie doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from other films in this genre. Apocalyptic stories are nothing new, and there are still fresh ways to approach the idea, but this film doesn’t appear to have an interest in doing anything particularly original. The writing is stale and features forgettable dialogue. It also feels far too safe and predictable to truly be subversive and engaging.
The movie also features some less than stellar performances. Chloë Grace Moretz and Algee Smith both lead this dystopian thriller. Neither of their performances stand out, and they mostly just go with the motions in this tepid film. It’s rather disappointing since both actors have proven themselves to be talented in other projects, but one would not guess this based on this performance alone.
In addition to the problems with the writing and acting, the movie also has bland execution throughout. Even though the ideas are old and derivative, it could at least be compensated by a captivating artistic vision guiding it. However, there isn’t much character or personality in its execution, and it ends up feeling like every other nondescript post-apocalyptic thriller. The movie also doesn’t do enough with its maternity aspect. It introduces it as a plot device without properly exploring the implications and nuances of the situation.
Despite the areas in which the film’s quality lacked, there are a couple of things that work well in its favor. While its visual aesthetic doesn’t feel unique or original, the cinematography and atmosphere both contribute to the sense of dread that the movie aims to capture. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to elevate the scenes to be entertaining.
Ultimately, Mother/Android is a disappointing and uninspired dystopian thriller. It doesn’t explore its themes in a fresh or captivating way, and it features subpar performances, weak writing, and lackluster execution. While it’s not aggressively bad throughout, it’s a rather forgettable endeavor that might be something that you’ll want to pass on viewing this weekend.
Mother/Android is streaming on Hulu December 17.