The Machine (2013) Toby Stephens, Caity Lotz, Denis Lawson, Sam Hazeldine Movie Review

The Machine (2013)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Caity Lotz in The Machine (2013)

Fails to run like a Machine

With his daughter slowly dying, cybernetics expert Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens) has taken to working for the MoD in the world of artificial intelligence in the hope of creating a brain implant which will help save his daughter. It hasn't gone smoothly and one experiment with an injured soldier lead to the death of his assistant which is why when he meets Ava (Caity Lotz) who has made giant leaps in creating artificial intelligence he employs her as his new assistant. But for Vincent's boss, Thomson (Denis Lawson), the only thing he is interested in is creating a smart, android super soldier and after Ava snoops she ends up falling foul of Thomson. But with everything in place Vincent finds himself conflicted when he makes the machine.

I've realised something, the older I get the simpler I like my movies and have seem to have come full circle with straight forward entertainment being a lot more enjoyable than movies which attempt to be clever. As such "The Machine" was a real struggle for me because it seemed utterly confused as to what it was with it trying to create various story threads and styles. What I mean is at times "The Machine" has this love story going on between creator and its creation, but we then have this whole war lord side with Thompson wanting to use robots for evil, but then we seem to have robots communicating with each other on some other level. It makes it a movie which is trying to hard to cover too many bases.

This multi part story leads to styling issues as well as we have elements of neo-noir using shadowing in what for me is a heavy handed approach but then combined with more traditional sci-fi and over use of lens flare. We also have people with futuristic hair cuts and layers of visual effects whilst music which feels like it belongs in a Terminator movie. "The Machine" ends up feeling eclectic but on a low budget with minimal locations and I guess most of the budget being spent on the effects

What this all boils down to is that "The Machine" is a movie which ends up over reaching as it tries to combine various elements to do with cybernetics but unable to do them justice and only ending up messy by over reaching.