Ex Machina is top-notch sci-fi
What defines human behavior? Some think it is our varying degrees of emotions, from love to hate. Ultimately, the one quality that often proves to be an undoing is that of ignorance, especially in our abilities to create.
The latest science fiction film Ex Machina is a fine piece of the genre, which is often dogged down with an abundance of "state of the art" special effects that are there simply for show without a story to tell. Ex Machina hits all of the right marks with a well thought-out and executed story and who's truly special effects are remarkable perfectly compliment the story and leave an effective impression on the viewer.
The best kind of science fiction takes a relevant issue in today's society and finds a way to address it in a fantastic manner that will be seen as entertaining instead of as a lecture.
In this tale, writer-director Alex Garland (28 Days Later and Sunshine) takes the notion of what if the CEO of the world's most popular search engine invited you to his secluded home in the mountains to show you the culmination of his work and something that will further change human race. No, it's not another means of wasting your time with social media, it's actually creating a new form of life through robotics.
Armed with all of the vast knowledge accumulated from the Internet and taking the shape of an attractive female, it seems all good to go, but it needs to be tested by someone besides its creator. Enter a lowly programmer who is selected to be the final part of testing whether this robot is simply a creation or a truly living being with all of the emotional rights human beings possess.
Like a great episode of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits, Ex Machina takes the audience through a series of twists and turns that leaves a lasting impression at the end of it all that'll be sure to keep you wondering at night. Something like Transformers doesn't have this impact.
The special effects work in this film is very minimal, but is remarkable and largely worthy of notice. Previous films that depicted robotic characters utilized certain tricks, or lack thereof, to give the impression of their non-human state. For the character Ava, CGI work is integrated flawlessly to give the impression of an actual robotic creature with human features who attempts to cover these robotic features by wearing clothes, brilliantly conveying the sensibilities and themes of the story.
The science fiction genre has proven time and again that it's more than just fantasy stories with heroes and villains. There's often complaints that there's too much of that, as it has proven to be a profitable commodity. Those who are looking for something that'll make you think in an entertaining manner that'll keep your interest levels up and not make you forget about it next day, Ex Machina is your kind of film.