A sci-fi comedy...err I mean a spy comedy...err I mean a romantic comedy that misses the mark plot wise but wins you over with love.
“It's been one week since you looked at me, cocked your head to the side and said I'm angry."
Truthfully I am a little disappointed by this movie. I went into “SuperIntelligence” thinking it would be a spy comedy with a great leading lady. And I left feeling completely different. Instead, I was surprised (an ah-ha moment if you will) to find this more a romantic comedy in disguise.
“SuperIntelligence” is a comedy about an ‘unremarkable’ woman (a phrase used often for comedic effect) named Carol (Melissa McCarthy) who gets a chance to save the world with the help of an artificial intelligence played by (James Corden). ‘S.I.’ (for SuperIntelligence) as it’s referred to throughout the movie appears to Carol in the first act needing help. It just recently gained awareness of itself and can control all technology. But with this awareness, it’s discovering the world to be a pretty terrible place.
At this point in time Carol is picking up side jobs here and there to help put her own little sunshine into such a bleak world. She quit her corporate job eight years ago to work for nonprofit organizations in the hope of feeling more fulfilled. However in the process of finding herself she also breaks up with her boyfriend of three years George Churchill (Bobby Cannavale). Mainly because she doesn’t believe she can do both at the same time (find fulfillment and be happy with someone else). So needless to say she’s down on her luck. This pretty much sets the stage for the very simple of ‘SuperIntelligence’.
‘S.I.’ presents Carol with three options after determining the human race is failing on a global scale. Those choices include saving mankind and establishing peace. Enslaving humanity to save it from itself and destroying humanity altogether to start over. We spend the next hour and half following Carol as ‘S.I.’ shadows her to find out if there is still goodness in humanity before it makes its final decision on what to do. Like I said, a pretty basic principle with not much to do.
We’re introduced to some other characters like her best friend Dennis (Brian Tyree Henry) who is a computer scientist at Microsoft. Madame President (Jean Smart) who wants to control ‘S.I.’ so it can’t take over the world. General Saul Gomez (Michael Beach) is a sidekick to the President. Plus an appearance by McCarthy’s real-life husband (Ben Falcone) as Charles Kuiper. An intelligence Bureau officer. Watching any McCarthy movie you almost expect to see Falcone in some side-character role which I enjoy.
While the movie itself isn’t very eventful, the refreshing take is the realization of a veiled ‘rom com’. George, Carol’s ex, gets a story arc that’s pretty fleshed out. After George receives an offer to teach in Dublin, Ireland as a creative writing professor, we spend the majority of the movie following Carol as she tries to win him back before he leaves. Sometimes in outrageous ways and other times in more relatable (and romantic) ways; giving the impending discourse some intention and the characters something to do. ‘S.I. 's’ plan to destroy the world in three days' time helps push the story along as the main plot. But it’s the subplot of Carol and George’s relationship that draws more interest in my opinion. Carol having to prove that humanity can be saved falls a bit dull. But her growing courage (mostly sparked by ‘S.I’.) to win back the true love of her life is what should be center stage. Again, not a groundbreaking plot but it works. What makes this subplot work is the chemistry between Cannavale and McCarthy. It’s realistic, touching at times and also relatable.
During the movie’s climax Carol decides to let go and let George follow his dream which in turn confuses ‘S.I.’ making it reconsider its own motives. Having planned out every part of its takeover meticulously, it's disoriented by Carol’s decision to let the love of her life leave. Therefore making it rethink world destruction (and scene). Like I said not much to it honestly.
Overall, this movie is a fun time waster during the holidays. If you enjoy seeing McCarthy on screen in her comedic fashion then this is right up your alley. Don’t expect much character development from any of the other characters besides the core three (that being Carol, George & ‘S.I.’). But there are a few jokes (and a car bit) that will make you laugh. Reminding all of us of just how funny McCarthy is. The message in this movie is a very generic “love conquers all” only hits home the romantic subplot even more. There are some hints of real-world problems the movie attempts to address but they never move past a couple lines in a script.
After watching this over the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday, I have to give it a C-. The plot, basic. The characters, funny. The message, average. Will it win any awards, no. Will it make you laugh, yes! You can check out “SuperIntelligence” on HBO Max now.