Ex Machinaspoiler warning
Hmm. Same writer as the guy who did Sunshine, Odyssey (the PS3 game), 28 Days Later, and a few others... it kinda shows, the plot style is sort of the same, where it has a plot twist that isn't really M Night Shyamalan levels of bad but... sort-of genre/plot-changing.
= The stuff with the AI
is well done. Hell, I admire Nathan as a robot "artist" for even giving his
s unique breasts and everything! Alright, I'm being facetious here... Still, I thought the visuals were very effective and the tone and mood are well developed.
= Best partCaleb
: You tore
up her picture.Nathan
: I'm gonna tear up
the fuckin' dance floor, dude. Check it out!!
= I do like the sort of moral ambiguity in this film. I really don't know who's good or bad. I think the film sets up Nathan as a "bad guy" effectively... I mean, he's an obnoxious drunk, but to say he treats the AI
s poorly feels more like the 'darker side' of what he's simply experimenting with, a necessary evil in a way that Eva unfortunately got too smart for it. But I didn't see him as "the bad guy".
I saw Caleb as a bit of a sucker though, and unfortunately despite being a pretty good guy he really gets nothing out of this... the exact opposite in fact (and probably my least favourite 'cliff hanger').
= I liked the ideas of consciousness and the chess game at hand between the player's staying ahead of each other (and I like these film's with small casts really engaging with each other). I was pretty involved during the 'sessions' Caleb has with Eva! I dug it! But then...
= Bah. Eva. A great character but by this point I think it would be more interesting to see an AI film that doesn't have them going nuts --- Eva is a failure whose lack of empathy just makes little sense even despite the situation (it just feels too hollow and her machinations all too evil, even abandoning "comrades" for freedom). The movie never says it like that (it'd be great if it did, it'd make her look less like a conscious-minded back-stabbing asshole), so I guess we assume she is just a "bad robo". I think a "plea" for freedom might have been better.
At least the 2013 AI film "Her"
makes this examination of synthetic intelligence under a new context and light and follow through with a different plot direction (murder-free!
). Ex Machina was, in a way, predictable and contrived, and dropped its relationship sub-plot with Caleb entirely for a more predictable one about freedom (whereas 'Her' kept me guessing). Or similarly, I think one reason "I, Robot"
(with Will Smith) has held up at all is thanks to its excellent supporting character Sunny, a subversion to an otherwise trope-y sci-fi film. And finally I appreciate Quantic Dream's "Kara" tech demo
similarly set up a TON of depth (for its 7 minute length) and a similar idea in a much more effective and unique way.
I liked this film but it never pushed the envelope into it's original
direction but went with a change of pace and style that altered the mood. The film sets up great character dynamics but cuts them short of something truly unique and settles on a somewhat unsatisfying ending; as I stated in the last point, the idea has been done in much more unique ways that didn't resort to homicide and deception as the answer and "proof" of robotic intelligence, or maybe my reading of the film is way off.... I suspect many will like it anyways.
7 Fembots /10 for a first go but I think another viewing would lower that.