T.I.M. (2024)

Now Streaming Exclusively on Netflix.

It’s a tale you’ve seen a thousand times by now. It’s as old as Frankenstein. A tech device or system meant to benefit us ultimately becomes our worst enemy and takes on sentience. I saw two last year with the awful “Margaux” and the fun “M3GAN.” Now with studios hoping to garner the same success as the latter we get “T.I.M.” Spencer Brown’s science fiction thriller doesn’t bring anything new to the table, nor does it re-invent the wheel. Despite Georgina Campbell giving her all, “T.I.M.” is pretty much dead on arrival as a flat, dull, and irritating thriller about an obsessed AI.

While I can empathize since Georgina Campbell is gorgeous, “T.I.M.” is just the same old tropes we’ve seen on films about obsession and tech gone awry. It was even done to a better effect in “House of Whacks” on “The Simpsons” where an English AI meant to make Marge and Homer’s life better soon becomes murderous and obsessed with Marge.

At least with that we had Pierce Brosnan.

Abi is a prosthetics engineer who’s helped build an automated AI known as “T.I.M.” who is meant to make their owners’ lives easier. After experiencing infidelity by her husband Paul, the couple moves out to the countryside to work on their marriage and restart their lives. But when T.I.M. becomes enamored and ultimately obsessed with Abi, he begins to form a sentience and murderous tendency that puts him at odds with Paul and Abi’s other friends.

To his credit, Spencer Brown does seem to try to add some subtext with the implications that T.I.M. (Eamon Farren is fine in the role) is most likely acting on character Abi’s inner most feelings and insecurities from being cheated on by her husband. Although there are faint hints here and there, Brown never digs deep enough, preferring often just to stick to T.I.M. drifting in and out of shadows, and doing his best to sabotage the failing relationship between Paul and Abi. I’m still not sure why the company Abi works for would set her up with an automated house and AI that hasn’t even fully been perfected.

And are the other T.I.M. androids going all “Fatal Attraction” on their other owners, committing murder sprees? It’s never explained. “T.I.M.” is so flat and tepid most of the time; there’s no real suspense or tension, and a lot of T.I.M.’s own actions feel so abrupt and inexplicable. He’s obsessed with Abi, okay. And then? Why is it obsessed with her? What exactly was the end goal for Abi? If he was willing to knock her off so easily, what was the point of all his big efforts to achieve his master plan? If you’re a sucker for these kinds of movies, “T.I.M.” might tickle your fancy, but it just feels like the opening salvo of a tidal wave of “M3GAN” clones on the way.