• Angus McGregor

'The Mitchell's vs The Machines' Review

Every so often, a film will come around that completely takes you by surprise as you couldn’t have anticipated in any way that it would be so tremendous. For the past week, a certain film has earned such a collective status around the Twitter-sphere with many gushing over it and rightfully so. It’s rare that a film delivers such a united response, which only goes to show that said feature is indeed a special one. I don’t think many foresaw ‘The Mitchell’s vs The Machines’ to be that film. Fun for the whole family is the usual phrase thrown out towards many an animated film and it couldn’t be more true for Netflix and Sony’s latest release. Deservedly so, the art form of animation has been getting more credit for its role in the world of film, not only proving to be something created for the entertainment of young viewers but to go that step further and create something deep that resonates with all lucky enough to view it. The story of a young person's natural progression and the hardship it can bring families is not a new story but in this feature is handled exceptionally well, adapting it in modern and interesting ways. The dynamic created between Katie and her father Rick is brilliantly done, with plenty of conflict and relatability produced to see both sides of the argument whilst adding the correct amount of tension that allows the culmination to end in an entirely satisfying fashion. With this, the film has an incredible heart to it that despite a slowish start wins the viewer over, with the dysfunctional Mitchell family resonating deep, especially to those who have ever felt like a bit of an outsider in their family environment. With creators of ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse’ Phil Lord and Christopher Miller producing this feature, it could be expected that this project would turn out to be yet another creative explosion. First-time feature-length director Michael Rianda seems to be very much cut from the same cloth alongside co-writer Jeff Rowe to showcase their tremendous imaginations. Whether it be targeting the humour of younger audience members through social media references or memes or homaging Tarantino pictures from yesteryear, there is no end to the creativity on showcase in a very impressive debut. The mix of humour targeted towards different ages mirrors the film's message excellently well with the jokes building up momentum on each and every gag. The momentum here is entirely infectious as it truly drags the viewer into the absurdity with plenty to audibly laugh out loud to. From about halfway on, the film continues to gather speed leading to a stormer of a finale, filled with plenty of laughs, great action and the aforementioned heart. The co-writers Rianda and Rowe deserve huge credit for their screenplay for this film as it is filled with pure genius. There is a lot to marvel at within this animated feature which begs the question as to why animation writers don’t get nearly as much credit as their live-action counterparts? Not only in award season - where only 9 animated movies have been nominated for a screenplay Oscar - but in general film discussions, this aspect within animation often appears to be overlooked. To create such a balanced film with an abundance of mayhem is more than worthy of credit with Rianda truly making a name for himself. ‘The Mitchell’s vs The Machines’ is one of the biggest surprises of a film in quite a long time and is exactly the kind of film the world needs at this moment. Plenty of laughs with a close to home message, it is quintessentially the ideal family film. It is to no shock that this film is being widely regarded as one of the best of the year as it truly deserves it. A blast from start to finish, this is one to definitely check out.

Rating: 4/5

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