Ex Machina

EX MACHINA is a artfully made science fiction fantasy about an eccentric scientist, the lovely female robot he’s created, and the young employee who’s brought in to help determine how human this female creation really is. The movie is an engrossing dialogue and character driven drama right up until a surprising burst of action at the end.

Nathan: One day the A. I.’s are going to look back at us the same way we look a fossils.

Oscar Isaac is Nathan, a rich scientist who lives at his own private research facility in a remote part of Alaska. Domhnall Gleeson is Caleb, an employee of Nathan’s Google like empire.

Nathan: My competitors thought search engines were a map of what people were thinking, but actually they were a map of how people were thinking.

Caleb: I’m pleased to meet you, Ava.
Ava: I’m pleased to meet you, too.

With a lot of help from graphic artists, Alicia Vikander is Ava, the A. I. who looks and sounds very much like a beautiful woman, a prisoner behind glass walls.

Ava: Do you want to be my friend?
Caleb: Of course.
Ava: Will it be possible?
Caleb: Why would it not be?
Nathan: How do you feel about her?
Caleb: Oh, man; she’s amazing.
Nathan: Does Ava actually like you or is she pretending to like you?
Ava: Do you think about me when we aren’t together? Are you attracted to me?
Caleb: Did you know that I was brought here to test you?
Ava: What will happen to me if I fail your test?

The situation is complex to say the least. We can’t be sure what motivates Nathan or Ava. But we can see how frustrated Caleb becomes.

Caleb: Did you program her to like me or not?
Nathan: I programmed her to be heterosexual just like you’re programmed to be heterosexual.

Eventually, Ava begins to show just how smart she really is.

Ava: You’re wrong.
Caleb: About what.
Ava: About Nathan. You shouldn’t trust anything he says.

Many people will find much of EX MACHINA too slow for their tastes. Still others won’t like the abrupt, action filled ending. But for me this is an absorbing, even fascinating movie that left me with lots to think about.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.