I won’t tell you much about this movie, because, frankly, it’s better if I don’t. Right before I saw this film I happened to see the trailer for Ex Machina on television. If I hadn’t seen this trailer I would have been spared the one second shot that basically ruined part of the film’s climax. So in an effort to not spoil any major plot points, I’ll give a brief opinion.
Ex Machina wastes no time jumping right into the story. The plot centers around Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a young 26 year old coder, who after winning first prize in a competition, is able to spend a week with his genius of a boss, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). As Nathan takes Caleb on a tour of the house, Nathan tells him that this is not just a home, but a research facility. It appears that Nathan has constructed a superior A.I named Ava, which with all the bells and whistles, she acts as though she is a human being. With Caleb so overwhelmingly interested in the project, he becomes a participant in the Turing Test, which after a series of sessions, will decide if Ava is ready for more human interaction. After many sessions with Ava, Caleb begins to fall farther and farther down the rabbit’s hole, getting caught in a web of lies and deceit. As the plot thickens, it’s hard not to find yourself getting closer to the edge of your seats.
I know there have been films illustrating on the possibility of Artificial Intelligence, but this is another great film of 2015. You would think that so many of those previous story lines are being continually recycled for this film. Well, yes and no. Writer and director Alex Garland (28 Days, Never Let Me Go) takes some of those points, yet turns them around and makes them his own. I would say Garland’s directorial debut was perfect, but it had it’s flaws. The cast, though small, gives a great performances. Isaac, Gleeson, and Vikander have been getting better with every film they do. I don’t really enjoy sci-fi films as much as I probably should, but I found Ex Machina to be a great thriller. I felt as though I couldn’t really finalize my thought as to what was going to happen at the end of the film. And in a time when endings seem to be so predictable, it’s a nice change of pace. Plus, nothing beats Oscar Isaac doing a choreographed dance routine.
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander
Written and Directed by: Alex Garland