As Gemma and her science crew bring the M3GAN doll to life to help protect Cady, the flick remixes a severe mistake Iron Man made in the MCU.
The following contains spoilers for M3GAN, now playing in theaters.
One of the most interesting aspects of M3GAN is definitely the humanity behind the robotic entity. In an era where Child’s Play got rebooted, Westworld seeded out killer robots pretending to be human, and Ex Machina left fans guessing what was real and what was a machine, this idea of the bots being deceptive remains engaging. A lot is made of the origins of these beings, whether it’s mystical or scientific, but M3GAN leans toward the latter. Thankfully, the movie doesn’t gloss over the process of the doll coming to life, diving deep into its operation, make-up and purpose. And in this nascent stage, M3GAN actually remixes Tony Starks biggest error in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: creating Ultron.
Avengers: Age of Ultron Crafted an Apocalyptic Android
The MCU’s second Avengers movie had Tony and Bruce Banner deciding to build a shield of armor around the world. They combined JARVIS’ brainwaves, used Stark’s intel from his suits and tampered with the power of the Mind Stone to make an artificial intelligence they thought would lead a protective Iron Legion. Instead, it gained sentience and went from national security to an international threat, taking on a vibranium shell to raze the world. Ultron wasn’t just a physical danger at this point but a mental one, too, scaring the planet as it realized to save Earth from mankind, it had to eliminate all people. Thus, Ultron felt it had a righteous cause and a somewhat sympathetic crusade.
M3GAN Nods to Ultron’s Creative Process
MEGAN covers a similar emotional beat, with Gemma (Allison Williams) realizing she could turn a prototype caretaker doll into a playmate for her niece, Cady. The child lost her parents in an accident, so Gemma wants to create an armor around her, guarding and educating her, becoming the sibling she never had. By doing so, Gemma’s company could then dominate the market, healing humanity by offering them these best friends as a form of therapy and companionship.
The cerebral aspect aside, it’s when Gemma actually ignores her bosses, goes rogue and takes to her lab that she calls back Tony. She wants to make a difference, so she has her team running diagnostics, pulling up digital schematics and even welding the robot’s face in the first act. There’s also the arc light shot and the soldering at a desk, nodding to Tony whenever he’s making something.
The icing on the cake comes when they place the synthetic skin over the face and its titanium core, with M3GAN’s sparking to life appearing similar to Ultron’s awakening. Luckily, Team Gemma’s there to guide the doll, unlike Ultron, who woke up alone, studied history and went haywire. Of course, it’s all temporary as M3GAN learns about life and decides murder can safeguard Cady. Ultimately, the entire manufacturing process in both properties has that spiritual, experimental energy, where curious hands and minds push the boundaries of science in a room, not realizing what their weapons are capable of.
See how Ultron’s creation is called back to in M3GAN, now playing in theaters.