[Review] – Ex machina

 EX MACHINA

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 I was intrigued by the trailer, and decided I would give it a try. Ex machina turns out to be a very good sci-fi, well especially for a nonchalant sci-fi fan like me.
The story is oh so familiar. AI – artificial intelligence. The matter has been talked about for so long and made in to movies and movies, you probably have turned tired of the genre. However, Ex machina is done quite well.
The movie is straight to the point with 3 or 4 main characters. Nathan is a genius scientist working on his massive project involving the creation of AI, a very sexy AI indeed called Ava. Caleb works in Nathan’s company and was chosen out of his own ability to be able to work with Nathan in this project: doing the Turing test on Ava. Oh I almost forgot, Nathan also had his sex slave robot ( pretty sicko hah?). All of this takes place in a secluded luxury house of Nathan.
This movie Ex machina as well as most of other movies that chooses AI as its subject all comes down to serve one purpose : to make us realize how dangerous AI can be. The Turing test only serves to test if human can tell apart a robot and another human, but Nathan wants a much ( much much much) more complicated Turing test to see if Caleb will be able to tell he is being manipulated or not. This awkward introvert Caleb is so weak emotionally so he fell for Ava. Technically, you can say the he ruined all the work of Nathan the genius. We are all Caleb because I also felt like forming a connection with this AI Ava like Caleb did, after seeing the way she looks and talks and shares. But Ava’s choice in the end is thought provoking because it leads to the discussion of AI in the bigger picture. Why do people create AI and for what purpose? Although I call Ex machina thought provoking, this does not mean that the movie was able to reach a grand level of meanings. Ex machina chooses a different path, not too heavy and not audience selective. So, a lot more people will like it while some others might not feel satisfied enough.
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Overall, I really like the atmosphere surrounding the movie. This soothing and surreal feeling created by the sounds, and graphics really fit the sci-fi theme of the movie. Ava is breathtakingly attractive, you can’t deny that. The movie has a few twists, small and big ones placed here and there within the movie so the tension is pushed naturally in order to successfully capture the audience’s attention within the 2-hour duration. And it worked actually; my heart beats raced a couple of times. Ex Machina also covers pretty interesting conversations about consciousness between Nathan and Caleb. However, the character clarity is not there, because clearly we have no idea about Caleb, Nathan and Ava’s backgrounds, intentions or drives for their actions; no clue at all so this makes the movie more vague and clumsy. It’s a pity because Ex Machina has so much potential to be better than that.
I think Ex machina will be of the like to many people as a beautiful and interesting sci-fi movie involving AI. However, for people looking for an in-depth plot with a lot of blood and hatred and layers of meanings, Ex machina will not have those to offer.
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