release date: 8 May 2015 (Canada)
run time: 108 mins
considered: Drama, Sci-Fi
director: Alex Garland
starring: Alicia Vikander, Domhnail Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Corey Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, Claire Selby, Symara A. Templeman, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Tiffany Pisani, Elina Alminas
movie summary: A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breathtaking female A.I. (www.imdb.com)
my thoughts: Artificial INtelligence is the future of human existence. Some would say it’s already started to effect us, while others spend days upon days locked away in dark places across the globe trying to create and enhance it. Ex Machina offers a new concept of artificial intelligence, one where the robot is looking for human approval to form new thoughts and emotions. This movie isn’t about a boy falling in love with a girl, a mad scientist putting his creation to the ultimate test, or a robot looking to outsmart humans to become free. It’s a slow-moving story about what we may create someday could end up being smarter than we could have ever imagined.
There are three main characters in this film and none of them are more brilliant than Oscar Issac, with his only competition being his creation Ava (Alicia Vikander). He is such a versatile actor who excels at all his roles. You’d be hard pressed to find a movie that he wasn’t impressive in, and before you bring up how much I hated Inside Llewyn Davis, the story just wasn’t for me so that doesn’t count. Issac plays an inventor, Nathan, who lives in a secluded Fort Knox style home that houses his latest AI creation. He is smart and rich, but can be a little obnoxious when he drinks away his sorrows. He knows how to push the buttons of his test subject Caleb (Domhnail Gleeson) and what to do with Ava to get the responses that he is looking for. Everything is a big test to him and the final results will never good enough. His work ethnic and desires may be what leads him to the top of scientific world, or be his unraveling and ultimate demise.
CGI plays a major role in the film as Vikander’s Ava walks around in a robotic looking body with just her face and facial features being real. She was tailored made for Caleb to like and open up to. The scenes where the pair interact are played out much like how a first date would be. There are plenty of questions, fear, and awkwardness while they build up trust together. A trust that will put to the test and play a huge factor in the outcome of the story. Everything throughout the movie build towards a very dramatic ending which completely caught me off guard. The final minutes were by far the best part of this whole movie. Maybe I was clueless to the cues sprinkled throughout the dialogue or maybe I was just tired from the middle of the movie which seemed to drag on forever. I thought it was a perfect way to end this chapter of the story because who knows what the future has in store for our main characters.
my final thoughts: I’ve read some other people’s reviews and people absolutely love this movie. I personally thought it was a great movie with a solid cast and story that seemed to drag in some spots. I know it was only 1:48 long but it felt like over three hours and had it not been for that feeling I’d score it a little bit higher. I’m still gonna recommend this movie to all the sci-fi lovers out there who enjoy films dealing with artificial intelligence. Hopefully the ending surprises you like it did me.
my star rating: 7 out 10
imdb: 7.9 out 10
rottentomatoes: 92% out 100%
roger ebert: 4 out 4
richard crouse: 4 out 5