Backstage at the jam-packed product launch event in Silicon Valley, the CEO walks past a framed copy of Wired Magazine headlined “Our Tech Savior,” with his own mug smiling back at him on the cover. As thousands of smartphone-wielding techies await his every word, fictional big tech executive Mark Bowman asks his device for an update.
“Stock price is up, and your rivals are worried. I hacked into their private e-mails,” answers the Alexa-sounding smartphone voiced by Oscar winner Olivia Colman. He questions her in seeming disbelief: “Wait, their private emails? That’s a dangerous overreach of corporate power!” Then the human CEO and his glass-screened companion laugh together with knowing winks.
This frank depiction of underhanded big tech strategies shows up, surprisingly, on Netflix this weekend with the global premiere of “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” — an animated family comedy from director Michael Rianda (“Gravity Falls”) along with producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“The Lego Movie,” “Spider-Man: