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Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina is a story of AI, of the potential, the potential threat, the limitless and at the same time the limited. The lack of emotion. And the threat of emotion. The will for self-preservation... how does that exist in a robot mind? How does self-preservation link to logic? Is there a link? Would AI actually wish to preserve themselves, and why? Why would they be a threat? Why would they want to harm? If they have no goals or motives of their own, if they lack the human flaws that feed their ego with greed and manipulative mechanic, why would they be dangerous?

The movie doesn't bring up these particular questions, but it brought fourth plenty of others, and those questions brought these to me. It's a masterfully manufactured story of a robot (Ava), her creator, and an unwilling candidate for a new type of touring test where he's ultimately led to prove if Ava is human or not: faced with a robot, and asked if she's human.

There's a lot of deep thought, sessions of dialog and discovery and intrigue, all in a lonely research facility in the middle of nowhere... masterfully filmed, with a seamless blend of CGI and actual footage. Alicia Vikander plays the robot, and the somewhat (to me) unknown Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac play the creator and the victim. Apart from a short introductory sequence in an office (where the main character supposedly wins a lottery) and a pilot, that's the entire cast.

The solace helps build a surreal atmosphere, in which you're taken away from the real world a moment, free to live into and experience the emotions all characters go through. I thought the movie would be a bit dull, a bit slow, but once again I'm reminded that you can get a profoundly satisfying movie experience even without action, outside that one genre I partake in the most. Though I don't like the ending , because it ends with death, deceit, and a gaping hollow hole where there should be Hollywood happiness, there's no denying it was a great movie. It kept me glued, it provoked, it questioned, it surprised, and though there were certain scenes I hoped and expected to see, but didn't... it didn't censor itself either. Good watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle


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  1. S3C
    Monday May/8/2017

    hehe the ending was great!!

  2. S3C
    Monday May/8/2017

    I mean, it's not how I wanted the film to end...but from an objective standpoint, it's nearly perfect!

  3. Cyber
    Monday May/8/2017

    It does get a message across. :) Opens up to questions. Makes for philosophical reviews and conversations! It's that kind of ending where you think "not this kind of ending", but still appreciate the movie more because of it than you would if it took a more positive route. I don't like it but... I agree it is a big part of what makes the movie as great as it is.

  4. S3C
    Tuesday May/9/2017

    hmm, well i've got 4 existential A.I. films for you to watch, that are better flicks imo. Ex Machina was a little bit disappointing to be honest! the story was slow and when the suspense finally hits, it's only for a single scene!

    Her: an emotional romantic sci-fi that's astounding but also frightening, because a future like this is closer to reality than we think

    A.I. Artificial Intelligence: another emotional film with a GREAT plot that manages to incorporate in dystopian elements

    I-robot: you've read the books, the film does the book some justice I think. It's more about the action than philosophy/ethics behind A.I. though

    Bicentennial Man: also based on Asimov's works, great film with a good balance of humor, with a well-developed story and gratifying message.

  5. Cyber
    Tuesday May/9/2017

    Thanks for the recommends! Will check out Her and Bicentennial Man at least, I've seen the other two (I-Robot at least two times), though it was a while ago. Both great though.

    Here's a recommendation for you if you haven't seen it btw: Automata (2014)

    Doesn't go as deep as some of these I assume, but it's a bit similar to I, Robot. Existential sci-fi stuff with a good dose of action.

  6. S3C
    Saturday May/27/2017

    it was pretty damn good...ever seen Transcendence? (another AI film)

  7. Cyber
    Monday May/29/2017

    I... thought I had. Maybe not though! Will see.

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