In MOTHER/ANDROID (2021), a pregnant woman and her partner struggle to survive the android apocalypse. Critics and fans alike seemed to dislike this movie, based on Rotten Tomatoes ratings, but, well, I liked it. Though it doesn’t really add anything new to the apocalyptic genre and the drama at the climax didn’t hit me the way it was supposed to, there is a pleasure in a simple story well told, and this is one such story.
It’s the future, which looks like ours except many people now have android servants. The story basically begins with Georgia (Chloë Grace Moretz, usually not my favorite actor but she does a terrific job here) telling Sam (a calmly understated Algee Smith) that she is pregnant on Christmas Eve. When they go to a party, things don’t look good for the couple, who bicker over whether she should have a drink. Unfortunately, a catastrophic event is about to eclipse their issues: a mysterious signal blasts the country, triggering all androids to kill humans. Whether the signal freed them to do what they wanted or ordered them to kill, we don’t know, but the effect is the same. We’re all screwed.
Fast forward nine months, and a very pregnant Georgia is still with Sam, traveling in remote areas trying to figure out a way out of the country. They learn that there are boats in Boston still evacuating refugees and decide to take the risk of crossing no-man’s land to get there.
This movie offers everything I like about the apocalyptic genre: characters I care about, the blitzkrieg panic of the shit hitting the fan, some apocalyptic money shots, a scary monster-as-machine adversary, a simple point A to point B mission, and plenty of tough choices along the way between options that range from really sucking to only mostly sucking. I also particularly enjoyed that this wasn’t a story where everyone is dead except for our heroes and a few crazed survivors; America is still fighting, only it’s slowly losing. Oh, and the acting is solid.
On the downside, there could have been a little more action, it would have been nice to find out the real reason the androids revolted, and the ending didn’t hit me in the feels the way the filmmakers wanted it to. Georgia doesn’t seem to have much of a character arc where she changes or overcomes some flaw or misbelief, giving the film a kind of “well, that happened” feeling at the end. Overall, again, this movie didn’t really add much new to the apocalyptic genre.
All that being said, if you’re a fan of apoc films like me, I think you’ll find plenty to appreciate in MOTHER/ANDROID. It’s a simple story well told, that’s it. Overall, I liked it.