Ex Machina

ExMachinaWatched by Brad Nelson • A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking female A.I.
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One Response to Ex Machina

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I marked this as “watched” rather than “recommended” because I can’t really recommend it. Oh, you may well enjoy it. But for those few who trust my taste in movies, I wouldn’t want to steer you wrong.

    This is a somewhat amateurish attempt at a thoughtful movie. Hurting it from the get-go is the decidedly uncharming and uninteresting performance by the designated geek, Domhnall Gleeson. Nor is any of the rest of the cast anything to write home about. This same material in the hands of a charming, but amateur, community theatre group probably would have worked better. As it is, you’re forced to suffer through mediocre acting and characters.

    The setup of the movie (and I won’t give away anything crucial, although I must admit the ending in no way pays off the investment you have to make in the plethora of bland dialogue) is that some mega-rich programmer who invented a search engine even better than Google invites one of his top employees to his mega-compound to help him see if his latest robot creation can pass the Turing test.

    This might seem a premise of at least modest interest. But the back-and-forth between the geek (Caleb) and the robot (Ava) is unimaginative, at best. Oh, once again, the special effects are just fine. But it’s evident once again that there is very little soul left in the movie-making industry. Dialogue is everything in a movie such as this, and it barely reaches the level of bland.

    There are one or two interesting philosophical subjects brought up — one involving a Jackson Pollock painting. But such moments only go to highlight how devoid of cleverness and depth this movie is. But because it is, at heart, a mystery, not a sci-fi flick, you do have that aspect going for you as you wonder what is going on and how it will all play out.

    Unfortunately the ending is dull…at best you could call this movie a triumph of feminism, not of art or sci-fi (or even of a thriller). But what about the aspect of whether or not Ava is actually conscious? Well, smart dialogue would have addressed this. But we get high-school-level observations, at best, and I fear that’s what we have to look forward to in the future from a dumbed-down population, especially a dumbed-down movie-making industry.

    The subject itself is pregnant with possibilities. But this movie remains flaccid in regards to addressing them. Still, there’s enough here — good and bad — to make it entertaining to watch with a friend who loves good-bad kitsch.

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