Rage of the Machine
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is a programmer working for the Blue Book search engine company which tech genius Nathan (Oscar Isaac) built. And it is at work that he receives an email to say that he has won a competition to spend a week and the remote mountain home of Nathan. On arriving by helicopter Caleb discovers he has been chosen to participate in an experiment as Nathan has been secretly working on artificial intelligence and wants Caleb to assess whether or not he has succeeded with his creation, a robot called Ava (Alicia Vikander).
I have always said that my main reason for watching a movie is to be entertained but don't mind watching movies which shall we say are more fascinating than entertaining. This is is the case with "Ex Machina" as to be brutally honest it didn't entertain me but it did fascinate me which leaves me wondering how to rate it. But anyway, to explain why I didn't find it entertaining is that whilst there is a story in there this seems more of an exploration of a hypothetical situation and one which attempts to warn us of the dangers which it succeeds in doing.
Now to reveal too much will spoil the evolving nature of "Ex Machina" and as such let me paint you this picture. On one hand we have Caleb, a nice guy who finds himself dealing with the fact he is having feelings for a robot who appears to be making a connecting with him. But we also have him wondering whether what he is feeling is true or whether he is being manipulated by Nathan. Meanwhile we have Nathan, the tech genius who is wild in some of his ways with his excessive drinking and moodiness whilst he also seems to be a law to himself, pushing the boundaries of technology whilst not fully considering the consequences of his actions. And all this seems to come together as precautionary look at what could happen if full artificial intelligence became a reality. It is why for me how this movie plays out is fascinating in what it is saying but it isn't really entertaining.
But of course those who frequent my movie reviews on The Movie Scene will know that I am old school and fancy computer effects don't tend to sway me. Now I will say that the CGI effects in "Ex Machina" to create the look of Ava are beautiful, the detail is stunning and to be honest they have intentionally made this one sexy robot. But once the initial wow factor of the effects wore off I needed the entertainment of a strong story to take over. Yes there is a very strong performance from Oscar Isaac but that does not make up for me a lack of entertainment.
What this all boils down to is that "Ex Machina" is one of those movies which is to be honest beautiful and also fascinating in the way it explores AI and the inherent dangers. But for me there is some thing about it which stops it from being entertaining.