Movie Review : Ex Machina

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Caleb (Gleeson) is a coder for the world’s largest Internet search engine (think Google) and when he wins a raffle to spend a week at the high-tech home of the company CEO Nathan (Isaac), he is unaware he will be participating in an experiment that will change his life forever.

It turns out that Nathan has been quietly working on developing an A.I. and his latest creation is Eva (Vikander). This is where Caleb comes in.

Nathan wants Caleb to test Eva using the Turing Test. According to Wikipedia… The Turing Test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

Caleb agrees and begins his daily sessions with Eva. These sessions are very quiet, very serene meetings between the human and the robot. Eva is kept locked away, not quite a part of the human world so the sessions take place in rooms that can only be described as glass boxes. Eva is, of course, a beautiful young woman but as we will soon learn, she is not just the fantasy fembot of a man with too much intellect and far too much money.

Well maybe she is……

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Right from the start, there is something unsettling about the whole set up and you should take note of everything. The devil, as they say, is in the details. There is not a single thing that is not carefully planned or selected, including Caleb. The entire compound is not just an altar to high-tech gadgetry but it is designed specifically to keep real and not real, natural and artificial completely separate.

Nothing is as it seems and what transpires is an almost diabolical game of cat and mouse. But who is the hunter and who is the prey? This is the question that will engage you until the very last scene of the movie.

The performances of all 3 main characters are spectacularly nuanced but this is Vikander’s movie. Her almost human Eva is performed with a subtlety that, had it been missing or had it been in the hands of a less accomplished actor, it would have ruined the movie. Eva is just a touch robotic, just a touch too polite and formal, just a touch awkward….. and it works perfectly.

This is a movie about what is actually means to be human. Is it something we can measure or is it something so intangible we will never be completely unaware of an impostor. You will want to talk about and dissect its meaning for many hours after the credits roll. And even then, it wont be enough

4 1/2 stars

Love Flick xx

Director : Alex Garland

Starring :  Alicia VikanderDomhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Corey Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno 

Running Time :  108 minutes

Release Date :  4 June 2015

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