Release date: April 10 2015
(I know, I know. This came out a while ago)
This movie will keep you guessing until the very end.
I’m usually pretty good at figuring out where a movie is going, but not with this one. It took all my preconceived notions and flipped it until it was almost as if I was a character in the movie.
And without giving anything away I was left at the end with a similar feeling as some of the characters. 😉
All I knew about this film going into it was that it starred Domhnall Gleeson. Whom I really like right now. As of this writing you can see him in 3 different movies currently in theaters (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant, and Brooklyn). Some of his other work includes About Time (which, surprisingly, I adored) and Harry Potter as Bill Weasley.
So this story starts with Caleb (Gleeson) winning a contest at work to stay at his boss’ (Oscar Isaac) secluded estate for a week. Once there he learns that he isn’t there just to enjoy the scenery, but rather facilitate a Turing test. A Turing test being…
“a test, developed by Alan Turing in 1950, of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.”
…According to Wikipedia.
The theme of tests is strong in this film.
As I said before, this movie will keep you guessing.
For a large chunk of this film I thought it was going to end one way, but it seemed the film, rather the filmmakers,
guessed this planned this.
So for the first half of the film, I was sure that Caleb was going to end up being a robot/AI the whole time, that really he was there so he could be tested.
This was not the case, mostly.
And in case there was any doubt, we get to watch him cut open his arm to check for computers.
*END SPOILER ALERT*
The writers and filmmakers did a great job incorporating the audience into this movie. Just like Caleb is trying to figure out if the AI, known as Ava, has a conscience, we are also in the underground mansion trying to figure out what is actually going on beneath the surface (pun intended) right along with him.
The Turing Test is why Caleb is there, but see if you can figure out who is really being tested.
The writing for this film was remarkable and refreshing. The acting was pretty good as well; especially by Alicia Vikander, who plays Ava. And for a movie with only a $15 million budget, the effects were pretty remarkable.
Ex Machina is a flick that will stick with you. By the end, I was watching in shock at what was playing out on-screen and to say this film left me with the heebie jeebies is an understatement. Not because of the acting or the realistic effects, but because it is about the founder of a search engine that uses it to track everybody and hack into our phones to create a working Artificial Intelligence.
It’s not that far removed from reality anymore.