The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines ★★★½

One minute your kid is born, and the next — almost literally, for some of us — you start to panic about that inevitable moment somewhere down the line when this helpless little blob creature isn’t going to need you anymore. As soon as they start to crawl you’re confronted with the cold reality that you’re teaching them how to get away from you. Independence is both the goal and the curse.

But while a certain amount of post-adolescent drift might be inevitable for anyone who doesn’t go full “Gilmore Girls,” the good news is that it’s never too late to close that gap. Not after the kid grows up. Not after the kid moves out. And, as it happens in the hyper-speed new animated family comedy from the producers behind “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” not even after the robot apocalypse.

Director Mike Rianda’s “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” pumps with the same kind of heart and mile-a-minute creative energy that allowed producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller to squeeze tears out of LEGOs and make Batman seem funnier than the Joker has ever been. The most unexpected thing about Rianda’s debut feature — besides, perhaps, a quick but unambiguous reference to Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” — is that it’s also kind of a superhero movie, albeit one about the fantastic strength and elasticity of a family that’s straining under the pressure of its own perceived normalness even before they’re tasked with saving humanity. Imagine if “The Incredibles” had been directed with the underdog flair and irreverent whiplash of an Edgar Wright film and you’ll be most of the way there.

~read the full review on indiewire~