There are movies that come along that are just hard to figure out with the trailer due to it not telling you all that much. Sometimes that hurts the film, but often times that is what makes it so much better, the unknown of it all. One of the most talked about films recently, Ex Machina starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander is one of those that gave you just enough of a tease to suck you in, but not enough to really where it could be headed. Could this film live up to the hype or will it be a failed program before it can be uploaded?
Ex Machina follows a young programmer who is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking female A.I. To say this film lives up to the hype is an understatement. The film is brilliantly structured to keep you totally invested and allowing things to unfold slowly as opposed to trying to shove it down your throat. You are taken in a direction that seems simple enough, but makes some unexpected twists and turns along the way that elevates the film to a whole new level. Some will likely figure out a lot of what happens as it moves forward, but it is so perfectly executed it doesn’t even matter. Every character in the film is a bit off making you question everyone’s motives throughout. For this film to really work the effects had to be on point and they are amazing. The main focus being on the female A.I. known as Ava played too perfection by Vikander who is beautifully mesmerizing as well as amazing visually. There is never a moment that you ever feel like this anything but a real being and the visual design adds to her functionality as both a character and entity for you to buy into the whole concept. If you step back and think about it while a bit while it seems a bit farfetched it is totally something that is likely already happening behind closed doors. We have seen life-like robots already and this film takes on the morality of it all on some level while still not becoming to preachy.
The story here appears simple on the surface but manages to become pretty complex by the end with some interesting twists to bring it home. Everyone here delivers excellent performances that further make this film deliver on every level. It isn’t full of action or anything overly exciting, instead it is a brilliant character study backed by a strong story and in the end a film that has to be seen to truly appreciate. In addition to the brilliant film this release also includes SXSW Q&A, 8 behind the scenes vignettes and a 5 part featurette that takes you further behind this cinematic masterpiece.