I will always be the first to admit that I’m somewhat of a hard marker when it comes to comedy. I love stand-up comedy and can easily watch it for hours, yet when it comes to comedy in cinema, most films just don’t do it for me. For some reason, comedies don’t usually even get a chuckle out of me, and it is normally because they are trying too hard to get their audience to laugh.
That is why it surprises me when very simple comedies like Superintelligence work for me. The plot for this film is so simple it is ridiculous, and yet somehow, largely due to the fact that it never pushes too hard for a laugh, Superintelligence successfully made me chuckle.
Directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy), Superintelligence centres around Carol (Melissa McCarthy – Brides Maids) who since losing her job at Yahoo, has done what she has can to help a number of charities. During that time, she also broke up with the love of her life, the baseball mad writer George (Bobby Cannavale – Ant-Man), and that is something she deeply regrets. Despite how hard her best friend, the very kind Dennis (Brian Tyree Henry – Widows) pushes her, Carol just can’t seem to get her life back together.
Her life is then turned completely upside down though when she is suddenly stalked by an A.I (voiced by James Corden – Trolls) who announces that he is going to watch her to learn about humanity. If he likes what he sees he will spare humanity and if he doesn’t, he is more than willing to wipe out the entire planet.
Despite the fact the film is a comedy, Steve Mallory’s (Life Of The Party) screenplay does take the audience through a wave of emotions. Yes, there are times during this film when you will laugh, but there will also be times when you are close to tears and even on the edge of your seat. While this Superintelligence doesn’t seem like the kind of film that I would normally describe this way, it is a very well-rounded film.
There is a really natural feel to this film and McCarthy is a good enough actress to further enhance that feeling. She doesn’t try to overact or work too hard to get a laugh here. Yes, she does her ‘talk to herself’ stick that seems to follow her into every film, but for the most part she plays the well-meaning Carol exceptionally well and the scenes that she shares with Bobby Cannavale are filled emotionally charged. Given the circumstances that the two characters find themselves in, those are the scenes that will see you reaching for the nearest packet of tissues.
What surprised me the most about this film though was the suspense that was generated throughout the film. By the time you reach the half-way mark, you’ll soon start to realise that this is not going to be a film where the ending is predictable. In a lot of ways, that sense of suspense and emotion that this film created reminded me of the Steve Carrell film Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, and yes, that was another film that I fell in love with.
I guess the best way for me to sum up how I felt about Superintelligence was ‘surprised’. I expected absolutely nothing from this film but somehow, it ended up giving me a delightful afternoon filled with emotion. You certainly wouldn’t be wasting your time giving this film a viewing.