"Ex Machina" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Upon viewing Alex Garland's directorial debut, "Ex Machine", I had my skepticism. It seemed very odd to me, and just didn't appeal to me as a viewer. However, I was left in awe as the credits rolled on one of the best sci-fi movies I have ever seen.
The film starts off with a young coder named Caleb Smith (Domnhall Gleeson) winning a huge contest that grants him a week-long vacation at his firm's CEO, Nathan Bateman's (Oscar Isaac), private estate. What he thought was a relaxing getaway turns into one of the biggest advancements in science - the creation of one of the first humanistic Artificial Intelligence, who goes by the name of Ava (Alicia Vikander).
The acting by the leads is absolutely incredible. The scenes with Gleeson and Isaac make you very uncomfortable, mostly due to Gleeson's geeky attitude mixed with Isaac's charming, yet frightening personality. The whole movie is full of anxiety, making your stomach twist in knots and uncomfortable in many scenes.
Vikander steals the show however. Every scene she is in is amazing, and she portrays this robotic character in such a way that you can't help but fall in love with her character. She portrays this innocence behind her actions and attitude, and you can see the love she has for Caleb. The scenes between the two are absolutely beautiful, and makes the viewer want these two to end up free together.
Perhaps the film is so terrifying due to the fact that this could actually happen in today's society. Scientists and engineers are working on artificial intelligence that look and act like humans. The fact that these AI machines can take over and manipulate human emotions, like in the film, is absolutely terrifying.
Garland strikes this fear into the viewers by portraying our AI as a lovable character, and she is very good at conveying this towards our main character. However, once we see that final twist in the last scenes of the film, it hits very hard, and he just keeps twisting the knife in deeper and deeper into the viewer's emotions. Now, that is how every film should be. Not only does this movie have amazing graphics and writing, it makes the viewer feel something extremely good, before going in such a dark and horrible way. It affects the viewer very emotionally, and that is what every film should do to a viewer.