“Isn’t it strange, to create something that hates you?”
Ex Machina is right up my alley. A microcosmic mix of sci-fi, drama and mystery, it explores the well-tread themes surrounding AI in a really unique and contemporary way. I could not help but enjoy the questions it asks, as well as the answers it gives. Anyway, a quick review.
What I liked…
The story is so simple. Domhnall Gleeson plays Caleb, a young coder brought to a billionaire retreat to play the Turin test for Ava, Oscar Isaac’s AI creation. What isn’t simple is the central question the film asks: what does it mean to be human?
Brilliant performances from all three actors. The two men are also in the new Star Wars film, so it was nice to see their interplay in advance.
Cinematography is gorgeous, and I also read that the movie is filmed in either red, green or blue filters, a nod to the RGB of computer displays.
It’s intelligent, arty but really entertaining, a difficult balance to strike to appeal to many whilst also making your points.
What I didn’t like…
As a male viewer, it was genuinely uncomfortable to admit that most of what you initially feel about a ‘person’ is based on the physical appearance. You’ll see what I mean if you watch it…
It was a slightly unsatisfying ending. But then it is the sort of film that doesn’t look to tie all the knots and lets some dangle free in your mind afterwards. The rather hammy symbolism in the final scenes also felt slightly out of sync with the rest of the movie.
Verdict: The way that Ex Machina brings the questions of AI ethics back into view in today’s internet world makes it absolutely essential viewing for any fans of sci-fi. Everyone involved is on their game and it’s beautifully filmed. A must see. 8/10