• 12 Dec - 18 Dec, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

McCarthy plays Carol Peters, who eight years ago left a big, unspecified job at Yahoo to do some good in the world. We first see her at a Seattle street fair trying to get people to adopt puppies. But she's ready for a job and during an interview is mocked as "the most average person on Earth." An Artificial Intelligence that has become sentient and capable of wiping out humanity overhears, and makes Carol the representative of all people, giving her a few days to prove that humans are worth saving.

Superintelligence is a mashup of common screen elements: a romance, a best friend, a tinge of sci-fi, sentimentality and a ticking clock on lethal danger for the hero. All those elements are handled with a sense of just walking through the paces.

The cast, though, is full of extraordinary actors, who do what they can to redeem a lame script and style. James Corden is the AI's voice and occasionally its physical image. The actor playfully becomes his own avatar.

Brian Tyree Henry has the thankless role of Carol's best friend, Dennis, conveniently a tech expert at Microsoft. Bobby Cannavale is game in the nonsensical role of Carol's ex, George, the guy she regrets having broken up with a few years before. The AI, suddenly a softie for romance, helps her try to rekindle their relationship in the short time humanity might have left.

Sam Richardson and Falcone have small roles as hapless NSA agents, who turn up after Dennis alerts the government to the AI's scheme. They kidnap and briefly keep Carol, because what's a rom-com without someone throwing a black hood over the heroine's head and tossing her into a van.

One stock sequence follows another. Carol gets a makeover, with McCarthy posing in outrageous costumes until she finds a beautiful jumpsuit. The AI, like a Cyrano in Carol's ear, guides her romance. It makes a dinner reservation at the little Mexican restaurant where she and George find themselves in the middle of festive singing and dancing. There are wasted scenes in a situation room where Jean Smart as the US president looks worried while the government tries to thwart the AI. The scenes move swiftly enough and are not badly done, just way too familiar.

Visually, the film is as generic and jumbled as the plot, with some pretty but conventional overhead views of Seattle.