The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Director: Michael Rianda and Jeff Rowe
Year Released: 2021
Rating: 1.5

In an attempt to "bond" with his distant daughter Katie (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) before she goes to film school, Rick (Danny McBride) takes her, his wife (Maya Rudolph) and their little son (Michael Rianda) on a road trip from Michigan to California ... but while they're on their drive, technology developer Mark (Eric André) sees his machines go out of control thanks to a vengeful program named PAL (Olivia Colman).  Although it's colorful and has a nice voice over cast (especially Fred Armisen and Beck Bennett as two malfunctioning robots), it's also, frankly, a lot to take in: not only are there endless filters/stickers/effects over much of it (clearly inspired by social media apps like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok), but then it stacks on top of that umpteen movie references (2001: A Space Odyssey, Kill Bill, I, Robot, Dawn of the Dead, Star Wars, etc.) and spastic camera movements: it's so much overkill it becomes stylistically unbearable.  Maybe the kiddos will take to this, maybe not, but it does conclude with a nice message about realizing your parents are (most likely) trying harder to "understand" you more than you think they are.