Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ex Machina

Ava looks at parts of other AI machines.
I hestitated to watch a film that used what seemed to be a cliched, tired theme. A mad scientist creates a machine that turns nightmarish.

As it turns out, this movie was one of the better artificial intelligent films. Ava, the machine, is in the maze but so too is the viewer, as they are never sure what will happen.

After Caleb wins a prize, he's invited to visit a research facility in an isolated region. He is taken there by helicopter. 

He meets a stranger who says he has the opportunity to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the chance to take part in a Turing test and test an AI machine.

Caleb gives up free will and privacy, as his new employer spies on him constantly. His key card gives him limited access so certain areas are off limits to him. Caleb can, however, spy on the AI, Ava, by turning on the TV in his room.

The moment he meets the machine, Ava, is magical. Ava has that deer-in-the-headlights look as if she is perpetually scared, but her voice is flat and even confident. 

Will Ava, a machine, fall in love with him? She wasn't programmed to do that. Will he fall in love with her? Will they run off together, as the replicant and Rick Deckard do in Blade Runner?

Alex Garland, writer and director, has created a startling film that received, unfortunately, not enough attention.