Superintelligence (2020): F*ck You, 2020. Just Die.

“Superintelligence” is directed by Ben Falcone (Life of the Party, Tammy) and stars Melissa McCarthy (Ghostbusters, The Kitchen), Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire, Will & Grace), Brian Tyree Henry (Vice Principals, Atlanta), and James Corden (The Emoji Movie, The Late Late Show with James Corden). This film centers around a former corporate executive named Carol Peters, who is chosen to be studied by a Superintelligence. When this Superintelligence conflicts itself over whether it should enslave, destroy, or save humanity, Carol must convince the A.I. that people are worth saving.

“Superintelligence” comes from the same husband and wife team that brought us 2018’s s*itshow, “Life of the Party.” That ended up receiving a 1/10 from me, ended up being my #1 worst film of 2018, and officially earned the #10 spot on my Worst 25 list on my Top Movies of the 2010s countdown event. Safe to say, when I heard these two were going to collaborate on another movie, I think many of my brain cells began a civil battle to see which ones would survive by the time this movie comes out.

Another stinger, and part of this is due to the pandemic, but I will address it anyway, is that “Superintelligence” is skipping theaters and going straight to HBO Max. Before COVID-19 hit, when a movie typically chooses to ditch theaters and go straight to streaming such as “The Cloverfield Paradox” and “Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle,” the results have not always been positive. Thankfully, due to the pandemic, we have seen some distributors sell rights of their movies to streamers and it has occasionally worked out. Some are calling “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” which was sold by Paramount to Prime Video, one of the funniest movies of the year. Sony sold “An American Pickle” to HBO Max, which ended up receiving positive reviews.

The unfortunate thing however when it comes to this HBO Max deal is that the distributor of the movie is owned by the same conglomerate who has their hands tied to HBO Max, AT&T, which owns Warnermedia, which oversees Warner Brothers. So far, Warner Brothers already has dumped one of their movies onto HBO Max, “The Witches,” which ended up being one of the worst films directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Now who knows what would have happened? If “Superintelligence” was in theaters, chances are it would have made nowhere near enough money to turn a profit. But I imagine part of why Warner Bros. is putting “Superintelligence” on HBO Max is because it is being dumped on there. While Melissa McCarthy is a big name, Ben Falcone has never made a critically positive film when he sat in the director’s chair.

All of this just so happens to be my thoughts before the movie. So, what are my thoughts after the movie?

I would have probably have gotten ten times the satisfaction out of eating paper instead of watching “Superintelligence!” I cannot even fathom how this movie came to be. In my imagination, I feel like the only reasons why this movie exists to begin with is because it allows Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone to spend more time together. Plus, Falcone has already directed a few movies for Warner Brothers, so why not let him whip up another piece of s*it?!

I almost have no words.

Every time I write a sentence to give a description on what I thought about this movie, my brain just switches off! I cannot remember the last time I was this infuriated about a film. This is honestly just as bad as any of the “Sharknado” movies. Who do I blame here? The director? The producers? Maybe 2020? This is honestly the movie equivalent to finding out your computer has been smashed, the enter key is broken, and all your data has been wiped! Oh, and top of that, your computer has a f*cking virus! Time to call tech support.

I think my previous analogy fits quite well here, specifically the one about my brain cells fighting a civil war. It’s almost as if throughout the runtime of the movie, my brain cells engaged in a fight to the death, all until one cell remained, and now my brain cannot do anything about it!

I don’t even know where to start with this thing! There are some movies that I have reviewed that are bad to the point where I cannot stand them. This is one that I would never be able to watch again even if James Corden popped through the screen, came out, reached into his pockets, and slapped me in the face with a ton of cash shouting, “Jack! I will give you $100 million! All you have to do is watch ‘Superintelligence’ from start to finish.”

Speaking of James Corden, I have to ask, WHO APPROVES OF HIS FILM CHOICES? Does he have an agent? Does he get to pick the roles himself? Because in recent years he’s been in “Norm of the North,” “The Emoji Movie,” “Yesterday,” and f*cking “Cats!” WHAT IS HAPPENING?! Was John Oliver unavailable? Was Conan O’Brien too expensive? Was Seth Meyers too busy hanging with writers coming up with creative ideas for Donald Trump jokes?

For the record, James Corden plays the Super Intelligence, the A.I. that chooses to study Carol of all people. Conceptually, his link with Carol brought some good ideas to the table. Unfortunately, they were brought into to shoddy-ass wreck of a time that I will never be able to get back. The A.I. manages to allow Carol to live her wildest dreams, and in a way, this movie sort of resembles that be careful what you wish for type of story. Except that instead of wishing, everything is just given to Carol. This may be the biggest weakness of the film, and that’s because it goes against the traditional storytelling idea that the protagonist is the center of the story.

Now I know that the film is called “Superintelligence,” and it is partially about an A.I.’s indecision on what to do with humanity. However, a good portion of the movie dedicates itself to our protagonist barely earning anything. If anything, Carol is forced to go through with protocol after protocol, whether she likes it or not. Of all the protagonists I have seen in 2020’s cinematic calendar, I could make a convincing argument that Carol Peters may be the worst of the bunch.

And this would be fine if the movie were funny, or at least convincing! But it’s neither of those things. It is anger-inducing and awkward! That is all! Oddly enough, even though Ben Falcone wrote the other Melissa McCarthy-centric films he directed, he did not write “Superintelligence.” Instead, that dishonor goes to Steve Mallory, who co-wrote “The Boss” with Falcone. “Superintelligence” is the first feature Mallory wrote without assistance, so I will do my best to acknowledge Mallory could have a bright future ahead. But this script belongs in one place. Inside the software waiting for further edits. That’s it.

Not all movies are created equal, but this movie really needed some preplanning. Maybe there was plenty of preplanning that did not work out, but this movie felt rushed while also being lazy. Carol is uninteresting, awkward, and unfortunately for the audience, not funny. In fact, part of what makes this a reality is that a good portion of the comedy is boring Melissa McCarthy schtick. She might get angry on one occasion or another, she’ll go on with something for a long time, and of course, she falls.

Over the history of storytelling, I cared about protagonists not only because of their desires, which Carol has plenty of, but their willingness to take steps to their goal. Romeo Montague immediately went up to Juliet Capulet to express how he feels about her. Charlie Bucket bought a chocolate bar for a chance at a golden ticket. Luke Skywalker joined Obi-Wan to learn the ways of the force. The problem with Carol Peters is that so much is handed to her in the early stages of the film. She gets a lot of money, a penthouse, a Tesla, and she does end up doing things here and there to move the plot along. But the film burns out as it progresses, kind of like my single-cell brain. AGH! WHAT IS GOING ON WITH MY BRAIN?!

Did I mention that almost every joke in this film failed to impress me? In fact, there were one or two moments where a character would do something, and someone else makes a remark signifying they find the moment funny. Guys! Your universe sucks! What do these people find to be the funniest show on television? Static? Because I can assure that the first genuine laugh of any kind that I had during “Superintelligence” came in around the 44 minute mark.

If I had to compare “Superintelligence” to any other movie, it would have to be “Jexi” starring Adam DeVine. For those of you who have not seen “Jexi,” it follows a man who works for a Buzzfeed-like company. He’s obsessed with his phone, and when he gets a new phone, it basically takes over all aspects of his life. Aside from being a journey through his life, love, and so on, the center of it all is a rivalry between the main character and his phone, or more specifically, the virtual assistant on his phone. Much like this movie, it has a script that makes me want to shove needles in my eyes! It’s an abomination! However, the romance in that movie is handled much better compared to “Superintelligence.”

If this movie tried harder to formulate a more likable protagonist, maybe center the story around what SHE does a little more than the supercomputer’s motives, if possible, this could be slightly more tolerable. For all I know, this movie also could have worked better as a drama, because one of the worst parts of the movie are the attempts at humor. They’re either forced, awkward, or both at once! I screamed at my television countless times whenever someone did something dumb, someone said something dumb, or the movie treated me like I was dumb. That’s what this movie should be called! Not “Superintelligence,” but “Super Dumb!”

Maybe if “Superintelligence” were written as a drama, it could be the next “Terminator” or “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Maybe even if it had a different director, or lead actor, maybe even a new writer. This is an idea that could work if it were massively revamped. Instead, we get whatever the f*ck “Jexi” is! I’m surprised I still remember that movie existed!

When I stop caring before the halfway point of the film, that is an enormously epic fail. I don’t know what else I can say except that Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone need to get their s*it together. I have “Tammy” and “The Boss” on Blu-ray. I have not seen either of them. But after watching “Life of the Party” and “Superintelligence,” I think I might have to consider passing on those two movies.

There are several movies that I have watched over the years that are unashamedly goofy. Movies like “Anchorman,” “Elf,” or “Game Night.” But these movies are consistent with their vibe and translate to an instant good time. “Superintelligence” hurdles with world-ending events, serious government s*it, romance, and goofiness. Sadly, it cannot even get a single aspect down to a science.

In the end, “Superintelligence” is arguably in my top 10, maybe even top 5 worst comedies ever made. Throughout a great portion of this review, I had trouble formulating even a single sentence. Some movies are too good for words, others are so bad you do not have any words. This movie was so intolerable I lost my brain to process whether I could come up with words. Since I cannot come up with words, I’ll use numbers. If this movie were to associate with any number in the world, it would be the number 2. And speaking of numbers, I am going to give “Superintelligence” a 1/10.

Fun fact, there is only one other movie that I have seen this year that I have officially given a 1/10 to, and that is “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.” That film is directed by Daniel Farrands, who also directed “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” That ended up being my worst film of 2019. In 2018, I saw “Life of the Party,” which became the worst film of that year. Guess who directed that film? Ben Falcone! So far, the only 1/10 movies in 2020 are from directors who held projects that went on to be the worst movies of their particular year on Scene Before. That is honestly heartbreaking! Not just for the crew who made those movies, but as a viewer, I do my best to have even the slightest of optimism for a movie. So what should I expect? Are these two going to improve their craft anytime soon?

I am almost curious to watch “Tammy” and “The Boss” to see what else Falcone has up his sleeve. But at the same time, 2020 has taken so much of my sanity that I do not know how much more I am willing to sacrifice. This has easily been the worst year for movies. While there have been plenty of decent titles, the bad ones TRULY stood out. I cannot wait for this year to be over, and last but not least, avoid “Superintelligence” at all costs!

“Superintelligence” is now available on HBO Max. Watch it if you dare, but if you want my recommendation for something to watch on HBO Max, just watch “Harley Quinn” instead. That show kicks butt!

Thanks for reading this review! I would love to tell you what my next review is, but this current review has hurt my head so much that I cannot even think about what I will have for dinner tonight. So my next post is… Something. We’ll just have to find out what exactly that something is. I… Can’t even believe I survived to watch this movie. F*ck 2020, f*ck it to Hell and back! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! Also, check out my Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “Superintelligence?” What did you think about it? Or, of the Ben Falcone-directed movies starring Melissa McCarthy, which is your favorite? Given the track record between these two, I doubt this question is a reflection of quality. But I figured I’d ask it anyway. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Life of the Party (2018): 2018’s Mother’s Day Crowd Comedy

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“Life of the Party” is directed by Ben Falcone (What to Expect When You Are Expecting, The Boss) and stars Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids, Tammy), Gillian Jacobs (Community, Walk of Shame), and Debby Ryan (Jessie, The Suite Life on Deck). This movie is about a mother and ex-wife named Deanna, and I say ex-wife because the movie kind of kicks into gear once the character’s husband asks for a divorce. Deanna eventually thinks it would be reasonable for her to go back to college and complete her quest to getting a degree.

“Life of the Party” is undoubtedly the biggest movie of the weekend trying to stop “Avengers: Infinity War” from getting any more money out of the pockets of viewers. By the way, if this movie wanted to go for #1 this weekend, a number of us box office investigators would say nope, that’s not happening. Ever heard of China? Big country, tons of people live there. “Avengers: Infinity War” just hit theaters there, so Disney is only gonna get richer from here. I will say speaking of which, if there were one movie between this and “Infinity War” that I would choose to watch, prior to going into this one or the other for the first time, I’d say “Infinity War” and thus continue Disney’s quest to becoming another group of rich snobs that won’t reveal the cure for cancer. I say this because this movie looked like it was going to be nothing except a lazy attempt on cashing in on the name Melissa McCarthy, not to mention, cashing in on the name “Mother’s Day.” The trailers had no jokes I liked, except for one which I may be biased about because it has to do with “Star Wars,” and this movie is directed by the same guy who directed “Tammy,” also starring Melissa McCarthy. That’s a movie which I didn’t see, but having known about it, I’m glad I avoided it.

“Life of the Party” was never my most anticipated movie of the year. Personally, it’s pretty hard for me to hype up a comedy because they’re usually all the same or we’re just running out of new funny material. When it comes to some of the content shown during the film, you do get that typical Hollywood studio comedy feel you might get out of a number of other movies. Sometimes that feel can be provided in a decent movie, such as last month’s “Blockers,” or it can be total trash like in last year’s “Snatched.” And honestly, when it comes to this movie given how I’ve now watched it, I gotta say I wish I never set my eyes upon it! This is probably one of the worst comedies I’ve seen throughout the span of the decade!

My gosh, have you ever wanted to go blind so bad that you wanted to take two 9mm pistols and shoot em at your eyeballs? There was a point where I wanted to do that so f*cking bad during this goddamn piece of crap! And now that I’m sitting here and I have other things to think about, I wouldn’t mind doing that in a garbage bin, full of trash, with a group of flies going around said bin, while on fire! I’m not gonna give my final verdict yet, it’s a bit too early for that, but I’m gonna warn you all, this is currently my worst movie of 2018 thus far!

Remember how I mentioned this movie is competing against “Avengers: Infinity War?” One thing that helps both movies a little bit is that they’re being advertised towards different kinds of people. “Avengers: Infinity War” is more for action lovers, comic book junkies, and anyone who has been following the universe it contains for a long time. “Life of the Party” is marketed towards mainly those of mature age, and its overall main points to deliver are the following:

  1. Moms are cool, spend your mother’s day weekend watching this.
  2. Come for the laughs.
  3. What was that again? It’s Mother’s Day! What other time are you gonna see this?

Let’s take a look at point 2. This movie is supposed to be a comedy. And sure, it does have some laughs. I was in a nearly full auditorium with a high number of people who seemed to be enjoying themselves while watching this. They were laughing a crapton more than I was for sure. Me? I was just about ready to kill myself. It was just standard humor, you’ve got physical comedy, sex jokes, Melissa McCarthy playing herself despite having a different look to her, and whatever other little thing could be injected into a piece of crap such as this to make me want to go jump off a cliff. “Avengers: Infinity War” is funnier than this! Hard to believe me when I say that now isn’t it? “Avengers: Infinity War” isn’t even a comedy! It has humor in it, sure, but it IS NOT a comedy! I may be biased because on paper, if I haven’t seen either this movie or that movie, I’d go see “Avengers: Infinity War” before “Life of the Party” just from what I know going in. However, if you are LABELED a COMEDY, you have one job. MAKE ME LAUGH. Did I laugh? Sure, I chuckled, made some noises here and there. But when I’m laughing louder than the Wicked Witch of the West during an ACTION movie and making noises like an emotionless android during a COMEDY movie, there’s a problem.

In fact, part of what made the comedy in this movie fail for me is that it was just awkward. It was sometimes just full of cringe and as if nobody truly gave a s*it about what they were doing! Part of the movie’s overall comedy involves Melissa McCarthy being the fish out of water at college due to her age, and if I were a student there, I’d tell her to pipe down and focus! Gosh! No wonder teachers are always trying to shush students!

Speaking of Melissa McCarthy, let’s talk a bit about her character. This character goes by the name of Deanna. Having already established that she and her husband are divorced and she’s in college with her daughter, Deanna actually goes down a route that I kind of didn’t expect for her character, and surprisingly, as much as I’m s*ittalking this movie, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I was somewhat expecting her daughter and her friends to be somewhat embarrassed that Deanna’s in her current position. However, while we do end up seeing that embarrassment from Deanna’s daughter, not to mention other characters at a number of moments, she starts off generally well-liked by the daughter’s social group, and remains that way for the movie’s runtime.

One thing I gotta say about this movie that I’ve yet to say… It’s a roller coaster. And by that I mean, it’s one of the most vomit-inducing rides I’ve had in my entire life. A LOT HAPPENS in an hour and forty five minutes! When I was watching this movie, it felt like it was a large combination of story elements meshed into one product. And honestly, the more I think about this movie, the more I question the very ideas of time and space themselves! This movie, like most comedies, is less than two hours, and the exact runtime is an hour and forty-five minutes. As I watched this movie, I thought it was ten to twenty minutes too long. I was almost convinced that this movie almost makes the two hour mark! Now I’m just saying to myself, make this movie shorter! It has a lot in it! Focus on a shorter amount of story points! I’m getting a f*cking headache! And you know what? I take back everything I just said! I know how to get the PERFECT runtime for this movie! Grab every copy of the script, and put em in a paper shredder, a fire, a recycling bin, let the dog eat every morsel of it, I don’t f*cking care, just eradicate each and every copy! And if the script was originally created online! Delete every trace of it!

One thing that kind of shocks me despite how much I hate this movie is that I could have been a tad more bored. Don’t get me wrong, I was bored as s*it, but compared to other movies I’ve seen, I was able to understand what was happening. I didn’t care about what was happening, I was endlessly regretting my life choices, and there was definitely a point where I checked out, but I could have been more bored. Although I will say, that statement might be saying something because my boredom levels were not low for sure.

I won’t get into spoiler territory, because believe it or not, there are actually people out there who want to check this movie out, but something happens in this movie. It involves a very well known celebrity. I won’t say their name, but this person is revealed to have some sort of link with someone. If this link were in a different movie, I honestly don’t know how I would have reacted. But here, in a moment that might be shocking to some people, I just uttered one word to myself, and that was just a sarcastic “Yeah.”

Also, I gotta mention once again, this movie is kind of typical for a Hollywood comedy, and this movie reminds me of another movie I saw which I thought was “fine” when I saw it, but got so much worse the more I thought about it, and that is “Bad Moms.” The main difference between “Bad Moms” and this movie is that “Bad Moms” involves more than just one mom, and it revolves around moms as a primary point. This movie revolves around one mom in particular, and the rest of the characters are others at college, a celebrity cameo, and folks the main character knows. There are so many things that occur in this movie that also occur in “Bad Moms” that it just makes me ask myself if Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, the two people who have writing credits for “Life of the Party,” which if you think about it, makes sense since they’re husband and wife, watched “Bad Moms” and thought about slightly remaking it with a plot heavily involving college! Once I saw a scene where the daughter is trying to get the mother to change her look and her outfit, I just questioned my very existence on this Earth. It very much reminded me, although not nearly as much, of how “The Emoji Movie” might as well be a carbon copy of “The LEGO Movie” and “Inside Out!” F*ck this movie!

By the way, not that it’s relevant, but why did “Bad Moms” have to try to convince us that Mila Kunis is ugly? She was #2 on AskMen’s Top 99 Women for 2013, she was Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2012, and she’s been on Maxim’s Hot 100 list more than once! Just askin’, that’s all. I mean, maybe I guess it shows Kunis’s range, but I don’t see her as ugly.

In the end, “Life of the Party” is probably worth putting to death. I don’t think there’s another movie I saw this year that is worse than this piece of s*it. Melissa McCarthy plays herself. The jokes are conventional and unfunny. And after watching this schlock, I… kinda lost the will to live. So, if I die soon, I just want everyone to know, I’d prefer a funeral over cremation or backyard burial, and if any of my close friends or relatives, that includes parents, have more important things to do, it’s all cool. In fact, you don’t have to make it sad and depressing, you can even do a dance party with energetic music as some people go around my casket to symbolize my youth! “Life of the Party” is nothing but a lazy cash-in! It stole my $5 Fandango promo code I won on this year’s Monopoly Collect & Win Game available at several grocery stores, not to mention some of my mother’s money on a card! And before I give my final verdict, why do I always have to go the theater and watch a terrible movie on Mother’s Day? In 2016, I watched “Mother’s Day,” one of the most horribly written cash-ins on a holiday of all time. In 2017, I watched “The Circle,” which wasted the talent of a ton of big actors including but not limited to Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and Patton Oswalt. This year, it’s “Life of the Party.” Thanks, Hollywood for a wonderful streak! I’m going to give “Life of the Party” a 1/10. Speaking of opinions on this movie, someone on IMDb reviewed the movie and they said it reminded them of the sitcom on “Family Guy” Brian and James Woods worked on minus the monkey. Personally, that nails the movie on the nose. It’s unfunny, wild, and while it seems predictable in some ways, it’s unpredictable in worse ways than one can imagine.

Thanks for reading this review! Next weekend, “Deadpool 2” is out in theaters, and I have my eyes set on seeing it around that time, so stay tuned for my review for that if I ever get around to it! Also, be sure to stay tuned for the third review in my series of Tom Cruise “Mission: Impossible” films, “Mission: Impossible III!” Aside from those two things, be sure to stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Life of the Party?” What did you think about it? Or, did you guys see “Tammy?” I actually want to know your thoughts on that too. I say that because the same director who did this movie directed “Tammy” and I honestly want to watch “Tammy” to compare both films side-by-side! I heard “Tammy” was widely regarded as an atrocity, but I want to know some specific thoughts from those who have seen it. Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!