NRR: Ex Machina

Nobody Reads Reviews

The writer of the book The Beach, that eventually became the movie by Danny Boyle and Leo DiCaprio eventually became a screenwriter and wrote the likes of 28 Days Later and Dredd. Footnote, when he saw the original Judge Dredd  he was inspired to make this film, his first directorial effort. He pulls it off nearly flawlessly. He is a magnificent sci-fi screen writer, so no one in the know went in expecting any different. Intelligent, engaging and thrilling to boot, this movie is not all I expected when I sat down to watch a film with a man sitting opposite a robot woman. Coming off having seen Morgan first, I sort of suspected it to be similar fair. Scary, thrilling and about an intelligent AI talking through a glass.

It could be argued that the movie is about AVA, but as my friend at Lesson’s From The Screenplay point out, her point of view is limited to that room. The whole time you are caught wondering what does she know that she’s not saying? What is Oscar Issacs’s character really have up his sleeve? and Is this robot really flirting with a person? You don’t know because things are told from the visitor -Domhnall Gleeson’s perspective. In their world Issac’s created a superior competitor to Google and has used it to acquire land that it takes two hours to fly over in helicopter. There he spends his days getting drunk. He comes across as unlikable until near the end, but never quite redeems himself. They are trying to find out if she can pass a Turing test, which it seems evident early on she IS capable. So why is the visitor there?

That reveal is one of the better one’s in the film, also coming near the end. Also, unlike most Sci-Fi films, it does not need very much in term of effects, except for the occasional bare robot moment (or background) it is devoid of them. It is just three, or 4 people in one location but can lack the proper gusto that would pull absolutely everyone in, even though the story is still solid. You are given just information throughout this story though that by the end, when all is tied together, you are taken aback by what has just occurred and how you missed it. you were engaged by the storytelling and set up. One might predict somethings, but will likely not get the whole picture. This is where it deviates from Morgan. Morgan is telegraphing at every turn – you COULD predict she was going to lose it on every one and the results that follow. And the ending, so unfair and utterly astonishing to me. For these reasons, I give it it a 4.5/5
4 and a half

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