We open on a waking Mark Zuckerberg, speaking to a disembodied Morgan Freeman, aka Jarvis, Zuck’s new AI. The cheery background music is the only thing keeping this video from steering into terrifying territory. Soon after waking his (its?) creator, Morgan Freeman’s voice says he’s entertaining Max, Zuckerberg’s small daughter. It’s fine, though. Nothing to worry about with the robot. “Entertaining her” actually means speaking to her in Mandarin.
This feels like it’s going to be Her, but a buddy comedy. Then, twist: Mark Zuckerberg has an AI-controlled T-shirt cannon in his closet. Does he really? Is this for effect? Is it real? Is what I’m watching a short documentary of a day in the life of Zuck, or is this an exaggeration? DID THIS MAN PUT A T-SHIRT CANNON IN HIS CLOSET? YES OR NO!?
OK, back to normal reality stuff — disembodied Morgan Freeman is making Mark Zuckerberg breakfast, and it is thrilling. He makes … plain toast. Just bread, except crispier than normal bread. Mark eats it with relish, and it is confirmation that Mark Zuckerberg is trying very hard to be normal and is thinking to himself “this is how people eat toast!” The crunch is so loud. It goes on for too long. The camera lingers on his chewing. I could watch this forever.
Now, for some comedy: Morgan Freeman’s disembodied voice is asked to play “some good Nickelback songs.” He cannot, he explains, because they don’t exist. This is where we really get a glimpse of Mark Zuckerberg’s acting chops. He gets it. He is in on this joke.
The happy music is back, signaling that everything that’s happening is good, even though the voice is joining Zuckerberg and his family for play time. Zuckerberg’s asking it who he should tickle. (I swear the only thing setting this apart from Ex Machina is the soundtrack.)
Max is very cute.
The film closes on Zuckerberg making his way to the couch with a mostly empty bowl of popcorn. He laments that Morgan Freeman’s voice can’t make popcorn. He is disappointed, but not too disappointed. He is nailing emotionally-restrained-meets-cheerfully-resigned dad.