It doesn’t take any type of AI to figure out that the professional marriage between Melissa McCarthy and director Ben Falcone has to end. Superintelligence is another nail in the coffin of McCarthy’s once stellar comic career.
It doesn’t take any type of AI to figure out that the professional marriage between Melissa McCarthy and director Ben Falcone has to end. Their latest McCone comedy, Superintelligence, is another nail in the coffin of McCarthy’s once stellar comic career. It’s stuffed with a tremendous amount of artificial filler, like a double fist of Red Bull. It runs jokes at a fervent pace that don’t land and are made without any real meaning or thought behind them.
I never thought I would yearn for the days of McCarthy’s The Happytime Murders. At least the crude puppet comedy had a pulse and sense of originality. The problem with Falcone comedies is they lack a real structure. If you look back at the start of this problem, 2014’s Tammy, most of these films consist of sacrificing basic plot points for long McCarthy improvisations, with the exception they forgot the funny. These films are two-minute sketches stretched out into 90-minute films.
Here, Superintelligence replaces some of those improvisations with some mild special effects and endless banter. McCarthy plays Carol Peters, an IT expert who is paid by an AI (James Corden) so they can study her as a reason why humans are worth saving or they will take out the entire grid by pulling the plug on what the world is run on. Their dialogue is somewhat humorless and provides a structure to the plot, but now replaced by Corden riffs. So, at least the structure is an improvement.
This comedy does have some welcome faces. One is the always amiable Sam Richardson. Brian Tyree Henry and Jean Smart play off each other nicely as an IT expert conducting the President on AI matters. Unfortunately, the always likable Bobby Cannavale needed to be in the film more and doesn’t make an appearance until well past the halfway mark.
Superintelligence, in a sense, is an improvement in the “McCone” filmography, but that is a low bar. It’s not particularly funny, engaging, or even enjoyable. There isn’t any room for error with a fifth try if they go forward with it.