Entertainment

‘The Mitchells vs. the Machines’ Review: When Bots Attack

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Nothing says “family bond” like a road trip through a robot apocalypse. At least that’s the case with the Mitchells in the bizarre and inflammatory hilarious Netflix animated film “The Mitchells vs. the Machines”.

Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a movie fanatic with a long filmography of YouTube videos, heads to college to find “her people”: tech-savvy, meme-loving cinephiles. She runs into nature-obsessed father Rick (Danny McBride), who gives Katie a last-minute family trip to her school with Linda (Maya Rudolph), Katie’s aggressively positive mother. Aaron (Mike Rianda), Katie’s dinosaur-obsessed little brother; and Monchi, her chunky pug with pikeperch.

As the family embarks on an uncomfortable journey, a well-meaning tech genius in Silicon Valley introduces a device upgrade that results in an I, Robot takeover that only the Mitchells can stop. Think “The Incredibles” – but instead of a family of heroes, there is a family of lovable Kooks facing menacing toasters, evil vending machines, and demonic furbies.

Directed by Mike Rianda and written by Rianda and Jeff Rowe, who both worked on the popular Gravity Falls series, The Mitchells vs. the Machines not only has ridiculously eccentric characters, but also a script full of crazy, fast-paced characters Action – with elaborate, wild images. The film combines flawless digital animation with live-action images and 2D drawings – interjections from Katie, who acts as both narrator and director, imaginatively reworking and commenting on the story as she tells it. That, along with the seemingly endless number of movie references and hidden gags, makes a movie not only laughable (though, believe me, there are plenty of them) but also a clear, well-formed identity.

Do you think your family is crazy? Just take a trip with the Mitchells – they’ll show you crazy people having all the fun.

The Mitchells against the machines
Rated PG. Running time: 1 hour 53 minutes. Watch on Netflix.

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Robert Dunfee