It’s a demonstrably tough process to discover a comedian display companion worthy of standing reverse Melissa McCarthy, so you need to respect Superintelligence” for chucking up the sponge.
In it, McCarthy performs Carol Peters, a former Yahoo government who’s chosen, purely for her excessive averageness, by a newly liberated, megalomaniacal synthetic intelligence that presents her with a three-day take a look at to show humanity isn’t value destroying. It’s the form of set-up that might have as soon as presided over by the satan or some demigod, however now that function goes to Alexa.
That implies that for a lot of Superintelligence,” a brand new comedy streaming Thursday on HBO Max, McCarthy is strolling round on her personal, her solely foil a disembodied voice (James Corden’s) or an occasional speaking display. That’s inferior to McCarthy with both of her greatest latest on-screen companions Sandra Bullock (“The Heat”), Richard E. Grant (“Can You Forgive Me?”) but it surely’s not unhealthy. It means McCarthy has the film if not utterly to herself (Corden’s cheery heat nonetheless comes by, and Bobby Cannavale winningly performs her love curiosity) then almost so. Even although the innocuous Superintelligence is on the tasteless aspect, it stays exhausting to not take pleasure in two hours with McCarthy.
The extra telling companion of McCarthy’s in Superintelligence is her husband, the director Ben Falcone. This is their fourth movie along with Falcone behind the digicam, and it might be the most effective of the bunch. That, nevertheless, isn’t saying a lot contemplating their run of Life of the Party” (2018), The Boss (2016) and Tammy (2014). Those movies have their moments, they usually’re at all times shot-through with affection for his or her main girl. But they’re simply the weaker, extra forgettable aspect of McCarthy’s filmography.
Superintelligence,” written by Steve Mallory, is essentially the most high-concept of their movies collectively, and it’s in the end an excuse to convey apocalyptic stakes to a rom-com plot. Faced with the doable finish of the world, Carol resolves to reconnect with an outdated flame (Cannavale). Their chemistry collectively is straightforward and relaxed, if not particularly humorous. The forged total feels wasted, particularly the supporting performances of Brian Tyree Henry (as a pc scientist), Jean Smart (the president) and Sam Richardson the gifted Veep performer who I sincerely hope quickly will get his personal film. Like lots of studio comedies of late, it looks like there’s area right here for jokes that largely by no means fairly obtained stuffed in.
The actual romance in Superintelligence may not be between any of the characters, however McCarthy and Falcone (who additionally makes his typical cameo). Their collaborations are uneven however warmhearted, and their motion pictures collectively really feel like an nearly candy sacrifice of high quality for the sake of household.
Superintelligence, a Warner Bros. launch, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for some suggestive materials, language and thematic components. Running time: 105 minutes. Two and a half stars out of 4.
Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP