Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ex Machina – review

The sci-fi genre is rife with films that query about the wisdom of creating computers with functioning artificial intelligence.  Ex Machina seems to ask a lot of valid questions regarding the Turing test when it comes to the nature of programmable behavior. It is a smart film that has some great ideas and will have you pondering long after the movie is over.

Caleb, played by Domhall Gleeson, wins a lottery to spend a week with the CEO of Bluebook, a fictional search engine. He is greeted by Nathan, played by Oscar Isaac, who tells him he has created an android with near perfect AI and he needs Caleb to perform a Turing test on her. The Turing test is a test, which is used when an interrogator is needed to ask questions of a person to determine whether they are a human or computer. The android, Ava, played by Alicia Vikander, meets Caleb and soon develops a strong friendship with him.

The psychology of this movie is fascinating. I couldn’t help but wonder what questions I would ask to determine what makes a human truly human. The philosophical nature bleeds into a psychological story when we realize that some characters might not be as truthful as others and Ava is not the first android to be built.  The acting is great and the small cast really utilizes their relationships together to make this a compelling film. Oscar Isaac in particular is intimidating and yet also the sort of person who has a magnetic personality. The set is also interesting because there is a huge contrast between the home of Nathan, which is bare of nearly all décor and the land surrounding it since it is around some of the most scenic glaciers, forests, and waterfalls.

Ex Machina is a heavy movie. If you are into sci-fi with some content that will lead to conversations then this is for sure a movie you will enjoy. If you are into lighter films or movies with heavy action then it is probably good to give it a pass. There are just some existential questions you will be coming to terms with at some point.

No comments:

Post a Comment