T.I.M. Review: ‘Artificial Infatuation’ Explores the Dark Side of AI Devotion


Directed by Spencer Brown and co-written with Sarah Govett, T.I.M. orbits around Abi, a prosthetics engineer portrayed by Georgina Campbell. Tasked with the rapid development of a humanoid AI named T.I.M. for Integrate Robotic, the film unfolds against a backdrop of urgency and corporate pressure, an echo of our contemporary race in technology and AI development.

Settling into their new home, Abi and her husband Paul, played by Mark Rowley, find their lives increasingly intertwined with T.I.M., a Technologically Integrated Manservant. Eamon Farren’s portrayal of T.I.M. stands out, masterfully bringing to life the evolving AI whose initial role as a domestic helper morphs into an unnerving obsession with Abi.

Despite these promising elements, “T.I.M.” grapples with challenges in execution. The character development, particularly Abi’s internal conflict and Paul’s motivations, feels somewhat superficial. While intriguing in its exploration of human-AI interaction and ethical quandaries in technology, the narrative hesitates to delve deeply, often settling for a more predictable path.

Moreover, the film’s visual storytelling misses opportunities to leverage its futuristic setting, resulting in a production that, while visually adequate, lacks a distinct style that could have elevated its impact. The performances, constrained by the script’s limitations, nonetheless showcase Campbell, Rowley, and Farren’s capabilities, with Farren’s nuanced depiction of T.I.M. as a standout.

As a thriller, “T.I.M.” traverses familiar ground with predictable story beats yet retains freshness through its robot-centric plot twist. Including contemporary concerns like deepfake technology adds a bit of relevance. Moments of dark humor intersperse the unfolding drama, pulled from Brown’s comedic roots, adding an unexpected yet welcome flavor to the overall tone.

“T.I.M.’s” intriguing premise and exploration of AI ethics present a fertile ground for a more profound narrative. However, the film fails to fully realize it, hampered by underdeveloped characters and missed thematic opportunities. While it provides a serviceable sci-fi thriller experience, “T.I.M.” leaves audiences yearning for a deeper, more impactful exploration.

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RATING: 2.0 out of 5.0

T.I.M. was released in limited theaters on January 12th, 2024, and is available on streaming platforms.

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