“Sometimes, I wish I didn’t know how good or bad a movie is before I see it. I generally like to know a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, especially if it’s something I’m on the fence about. But I find that when I hear something is really good, it sets my expectations too high, I end up being overly critical, and I don’t enjoy it as much as I feel I may have if I went in blind. That was sorta the case with Ex Machina.
The subject matter, artificial intelligence specifically in the form of a humanoid robot woman, was enough to peak my interest. In a month that was otherwise lacking viable options, this is one that I was anxiously awaiting. As the release came closer, I’d heard more and more positive things, so by the time I was sitting in the theater, I expected to be wowed. I wasn’t really. I’m not saying it wasn’t good, I’m just saying that it wasn’t all I thought it could be.
Domhnall Gleeson’s Caleb is a young and talented programmer who is invited to spend a week with the Bill Gates/Steve Jobs-eqsue boss of his company, Nathan (Oscar Isaac), who basically created their fictional Google equivalent. Nathan has built an advanced AI robot, and he wants Caleb to administer the Turing test to determine whether or not the bot is truly conscious.
The effects were fantastic, the acting great (I love Oscar Isaac more and more with each movie). I just felt the story was lacking a little direction. It’s like they had the basis of what they wanted to do (AI Turing test), and then had a few different directions in which to take it. They briefly dabbled in each potential storyline before quickly and tentatively choosing the one to end on. And I really mean potential, because any of the directions I thought they were gonna take would have been incredible, had it been committed to. Instead, I felt like the final act was a bit of an incoherent mess. The final ending was pretty cool, I just feel like things could have been cleaned up leading to that point.
Yet I’m apparently in the minority of that opinion, which is fine by me. God knows I end up liking movies that no reasonable person should enjoy, so it’s only fair that it goes the other way sometimes. That isn’t to say Ex Machina was bad. I just felt it wasn’t as good as it could have been.
Ex Machina – \m/ \m/ \m/”