Another strikeout for the Falcone-McCarthy film series
By Craig Allan, Staff Writer
It is an apt choice considering Carol is supposed to be the most average woman in the world, so it makes sense that she would love an entertainer as stunningly average as Corden.
Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy’s movie Superintelligence asks the question, is the whole world filled with average people, or is it just this specific part of Seattle? The movie revolves around an artificial intelligence choosing Carol to show it what is so great about people. The AI will destroy humanity if she fails to show him the value of humanity. So, Earth is done for.
The AI has the voice of James Corden, who Carol loves. It is an apt choice considering Carol is supposed to be the most average woman in the world, so it makes sense that she would love an entertainer as stunningly average as Corden. However, everyone in this film is as average and dull as they come. Whether it’s Carol’s cardigan wearing friend Dennis, the flip phone sporting female president of the United States (don’t worry if you forget she’s a woman, as Dennis will remind you every time he is around her because despite her being average, she is the most awesome person ever for some reason *cough*woman president*cough*), or the love interest George who looks like a tourist in his own city with all the Seattle merchandise in his house, everyone here is proving to this AI that while humans may not be bad, they are certainly boring—much like this movie.
If Carol can get together with George and stop him from moving to Ireland, then she will save the world. Towards the end of the film, it looks like she is not going to do it. However, the answer to the problem seems obvious and it never comes up. Why didn’t Carol just move with George to Ireland? She was looking for a job at the beginning of the movie, so she doesn’t really have anything keeping her in Seattle. She loves George, he loves her so why not just move to Ireland?
Despite the criticisms, there were endearing parts in the movie. The fact that the film was shot and set in Seattle was great and will likely bring fond memories for everyone wishing they could go to Seattle this year. Also, the scene where George meets Ken Griffey Jr. at the Mariners game, and the following bathroom pen clicking destruction scene were about the only funny scenes in the movie because they were rare relatable moments.
The true problem of this movie may be in who is behind the camera. Ever since McCarthy’s career took off with her Academy Award nomination for Bridesmaids, she has held a lot of clout in the entertainment industry. That clout has allowed her husband Falcone to appear as an actor-director tandem in many films starring McCarthy, including Tammy, The Boss, and Life of the Party. Just look at the Rotten Tomatoes scores of the films—they showcase how poorly Falcone’s directing has been received.
The problem with these films is that there is just not enough plot meat on the bone for them to work. They are usually all the same kind of movies. Melissa McCarthy goes on a road trip, Melissa McCarthy is a boss, Melissa McCarthy goes back to college. This seems to be where the idea starts, and then it goes nowhere after that. The characters are mostly flat, and the humour isn’t there.
This article is not likely to reach or change the trajectory of the Falcone-McCarthy films. What will change it though is the entertainment industry itself, because if anyone thought that Superintelligence was premiering on HBO Max because of the pandemic, that would be wrong as Warner Bros announced that the film was going from a theatrical release to streaming before the pandemic was on the radar. Falcone and McCarthy said it was their decision to move to streaming but considering the quality of the movie, the theory that this decision was made with the hands of Warner Bros gently pushing them towards it cannot be denied. The move to streaming is as telling of a sign as any that the industry is starting to see the writing on the wall for this pair, and that if they don’t change fast, it will hurt both of their careers. Then again, they have a new movie coming out on Netflix and have a recently announced TV show deal with them, so maybe hoping for change via the industry is misguided.