T.I.M. – Review

T.I.M. (2024)

Human’s relationship with machinery has been a subject in movies since the beginning of cinema with films like Metropolis in 1927. Through the years, the machinery has evolved into artificial intelligence with movies like A.I. in 2001, while fiction is quickly becoming a reality with AI apps like ChatGPT and Midjourney.

Is artificial intelligence a tool to make everyday life better and easier, or is it something that will slowly, but surely take over our lives? These questions are asked, but go unanswered in the British science fiction horror film T.I.M.

Written by Spencer Brown and Sarah Govett with their first screenplay and directed by Brown in his feature film debut, T.I.M. — which stands for Technologically.Integrated.Manservant — finds Abi, played by Georgina Campbell (Barbarian, All My Friends Hate Me), a prosthetics engineer who was recently hired as the head of robotics at a tech company in England. As part of her job, she has to move to the countryside where the company’s labs are based and live in a, literal, smart home to integrate her life with the company’s products and solutions.

Joining Abi is her husband Paul, played by Mark Rowley (Macbeth, Guns Akimbo), who has a rocky relationship with her after she caught him cheating. Already on the rocks, the pair believe a move to the country could rekindle their love for each other, build trust, and start anew. Abi then discovers that she’s working on a top secret project that involves a new robotic prototype called T.I.M., stoically and creepily played by Eamon Farren (The Dig, Red Dog), the couple’s new robot manservant that’s there to fulfill all of their needs and anticipations.

Needless to say, T.I.M. isn’t everything Abi hoped, as he slowly becomes more and more self-aware. Think M3GAN meets Ultron. All the while Abi’s new boss is more concerned with getting the prototype ready for market rather than safety, as she starts to suspect that Paul is cheating again, this time with their new neighbor Rose, played by Amara Karan (The Darjeeling Limited, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan).

Although T.I.M. asks interesting questions about technology and capitalism, the film is a slow burn that doesn’t deliver on genre thrills. It’s a premise that feels very familiar, while it would have benefited from a tighter script.

While the movie has some sharp and smart moments, namely the more human aspects of the film with Abi reconciling her relationship with Paul, it falls into many genre tropes and traps that keener members of the audience could pick up a mile away.

Speaking of M3GAN, T.I.M. shares a lot of similarities with the Gerard Johnstone-directed film, especially with its view of the corporate culture to rush to market and humanities overreliance on machinery. However, M3GAN is a vastly more entertaining, therefore more pointed satire and cautionary tale, because it leaned into its genre voice and campiness, while T.I.M. seems to shy away from it. 

Overall, T.I.M. had a lot of potential, but taking its subject matter too seriously without injecting it with a dose of fun, humor, and excitement, leaves this writer scratching his head what it all added up to. It just seems less authentic and more of a copy of a copy.

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Rudie Obias lives in Brooklyn, New York. He’s a writer and editor who is interested in cinema, pop culture, music, NBA basketball, science fiction, and web culture. His work can be found at IGN, Fandom, TV Guide, Metacritic, Yahoo!, Battleship Pretension, Mashable, Mental Floss, and of course, BRWC.


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