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Ex Machina

Movies concentrating on artificial intelligence are nothing new.  Tackling the thorny moral issues of creating a new type of being provides fascinating viewing.  ‘Ex Machina’ continues this path with an absorbing experience.  Under Alex Garland’s strong direction, the dilemmas posed take on dark undercurrents.  Whilst primarily a sci-fi tale, the story effectively mixes genres to create an intriguing package of ideas.

 

Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson) works as an expert coder at a large internet company and is surprised when winning an office competition.  The prize is a week with the company’s reclusive CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac).  Meeting the esteemed genius is a moment Caleb won’t forget, nor is Nathan’s offer.  Wanting Caleb to test out his new artificially intelligent android named Ava (Alicia Vikander), Nathan places his employee in a unique situation.  Events soon travel an unexpected trajectory as human and machine soon become one.

 

‘Ex Machina’ is an engrossing study in manipulation.  Caught between a creator and his creation, Caleb slowly becomes ensnared in a sinister web.  Unsure of where his loyalties lie, Nathan’s strong willed personality versus Ava’s innocence unexpectedly captures Caleb’s imagination.  Mixed with topical themes of ‘playing God’ with science, ‘Ex Machina’s screenplay equally should capture viewer’s attention.  Events craft a myriad of twists with pieces of a puzzle slowly falling into place.

 

Whilst a little too slow-paced to be entirely successful, the concepts ‘Ex Machina’ presents are interesting.  How technology rules people’s lives is seen in Nathan’s use of on-line information to control Caleb’s emotions.  You are never sure of Nathan or Ava’s intentions which add to the increasing tension.  Directing from his own script, Garland ensures his complex ideas remain accessible in order to concentrate on the genuine conflict between characters.

 

A thoughtful sci-fi movie ‘Ex Machina’ crafts an absorbing narrative.  It doesn’t particularly add anything new about artificial intelligence but provides engaging viewing about the pitfalls of some emerging technologies.

 

Rating out of 10:  7

 

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