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Review: Melissa McCarthy flounders in brain-dead 'Superintelligence'

HBO Max title can't decide what kind of movie it wants to be

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

A disembodied James Corden voices a supercomputer with plans to destroy humanity but also play cute matchmaker for a Seattle couple in "Superintelligence," a befuddling romantic comedy which not only lacks in superintelligence but also logic, coherence and any sense of chemistry between its leads.  

Melissa McCarthy stars as Carol Peters, a do-gooder who gave up her corporate gig in favor of charitable work. Carol's life is upended when an all-powerful A.I. (Corden, in another stinker after last year's dreadful "Cats") chooses her as a test study in human behavior, and hangs the fate of humankind on her ability to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, George (Bobby Cannavale). 

Melissa McCarthy in "Superintelligence."

A fair question at this point is: huh? But not a whole lot makes sense in "Superintelligence," which feels like at least three different movies whose script pages fell to the floor and were picked up and assembled in random order. 

McCarthy's Carol experiences a rags-to-riches glow-up as the simulated Corden deposits $10M in her bank account, wipes out her debt and secures her a Tesla and a posh new apartment. That's one movie right there. The Cannavale character and his former romance with Carol feels wholly separate, and the fact that he has better rapport with Ken Griffey Jr. (the former Seattle Mariners superstar appears in a cameo) than he does with Carol doesn't bode well for the on-screen sparks.    

"Superintelligence" is directed by McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone, their fourth feature length collaboration, following "Tammy," "The Boss" and "Life of the Party." Professionally, it's time she starts seeing other people.

There are scattered laughs, courtesy of bit players Brian Tyree Henry, Karan Soni and Sam Richardson. But this is misguided from the beginning and flounders to its finish. "Superintelligence" needs a reboot.

'Superintelligence'

GRADE: D

Rated PG: for some suggestive material, language and thematic elements

Running time: 105 minutes

On HBO Max

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama