It seems as if every year has its version of Bird Box or A Quiet Place nowadays. Late-in-the-year Hulu entry, Mother/Android, attempts to fill this slot for 2021. With Carrie’s Chloe Grace Moretz in the lead role, I was curious to see what type of project this would become. Would it lean more into the sci-fi angle, or specialize in the survival aspect? The answer, it seems, is that Mother/Android is heavy on the post-apocalyptic drama, and light on the action and robotics. Depending on the personal tastes of the viewer, this is either a great thing, or a complete misstep.
Moretz plays Georgia, a young pregnant woman on the run with her boyfriend, Sam (Euphoria’s Algee Smith). It has been nine months since the android uprising, during which a strange signal caused them all to go rogue and violently attack. With the birth of their child approaching, Georgia and Sam are willing to do whatever it takes to preserve their family. It soon becomes evident that their only hope of reprieve is in crossing No Man’s Land—a seemingly impenetrable facet of the android uprising.
My favorite part of the entire film is the setup, told through a framing-device flashback. The audience gets to see the craziness of the situation as it first unfolds, similar to the opening sequence of this year’s excellent A Quiet Place Part II. Georgia and Sam are at a party with an android butler who begins murdering without prejudice. Though one of the partygoers is able to subdue one of them, their victory is short-lived—the carnage appears to have spread all across their city. One of the characters frantically tries to call her mom as each of the robot butlers revolt, and an explosion goes off in her ear. The intensity of this sequence, coming into the fray in the first act, is otherwise unparalleled in the runtime.
The movie seems to be attempting a commentary on human arrogance, as well as our overall reliance on technology. A mysterious character Georgia encounters in the woods (played by Raul Castillo) exemplifies this, constantly spouting off paranoid semi-philosophical dialogue. The relationship between Georgia and Sam has peaks and valleys, culminating in fireworks. If the middle portion is a little shaky, the emotionally-devastating finale makes amends tenfold. Chloe Grace Moretz respectably acts her ass off, playing up the rich emotions of the script from writer/director Mattson Tomlin. The title Mother/Android (relatively misleading so it may be) led me to believe an action-heavy robot pursuit would be in the cards. To my surprise, it flows much deeper. A richly emotional apocalyptic thriller, Chloe Grace Moretz stuns as a committed mother ferociously fighting for her family.
Mother/Android sends out the signal when it debuts exclusively on Hulu, this Friday, December 17th.