Ex Machina is about a guy who’s working on creating the most advance artificial intelligence out there. He brings in an outsider to “test” his newest creation. The film is written and directed by Alex Garland, you may know him from 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Never Let Me Go.
The good; the “robot” looks amazing. There’s enough “skin” on the face and the hands to make you think “Ava” is real, but then the exposed metal portions remind you that she’s someone’s creation. The visuals are stunning, Ava moves flawlessly, you do think that her skin is a mask on a robot’s face.
The methodical nature of the film is wonderful. The guest is granted a week at this isolated location where the testing and building goes on. The film is broken up in to “sessions” where the guest is interacting with the artificial intelligence, much like a Kubrick or Tarantino film. They reference the Turing Test, but there’s a twist to it, cause the guest knows that Ava is a machine from her appearance. The test as depicted in the film is to convince the guest that Ava is in fact human from the behavior she exhibits and not from her looks. I loved the way the Ava slowly grows on us.
I don’t want to put too much here for fear of spoiling the whole movie for anyone.
The bad; it’s a little slow in some spots for me. Granted this isn’t an action movie, but there was too much time for the audience to “think.” I put think in quotes because the American movie going audience is stupid. It’s like watching the Michael Bay crapfest of Transformers as a red big rig pulls on the screen and someone says, “that red truck is a transformer named Optimus Prime, he’s going to transform in to a robot, the robot has arms and a mouth and his name is Optimus Prime.” Thanks for the wonderful insight! If we wanted the DVD commentary audio track we would view it in the privacy of our own homes. The audience chatter was so bad that multiple people had to say “stop talking.” One person even moved away from these idiots, it was that bad… morons in stereo… for shame America.
Overall, Ex Machina is a trip, in that it takes you on a journey. To say the film is slow paced is inaccurate, it’s methodical, every moment is planned and placed. A job well done Mr. Garland, pretty awesome for your directorial debut. It truly is the season of the robot (Chappie, Automata, Interstellar, Ex Machina…).
And remember if you do talk in the theatre that there’s a special level of hell reserved just for you (I’m quoting Book from Firefly).