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Film Review: There are Future Consequences in ‘Ex Machina’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The title “Ex Machina” is a play on Deus ex machina, the stage/scenario term meaning god from the machine, or the basic happy ending. By cutting out the “Deus” in the phrase, the film is left with just the machine, and the humans.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

This is a weird meditation, part indictment of a the megalomaniac worship of technology, and a path towards what that ultimate tech – the creation of androids that look like human women – would feel like in the real world. Two men face off in this story, the strange Bill Gates-like creator of the androids and the nerdy technician plucked from obscurity to test the “waters” of the electronic beings. Sci-fi screenwriter Alex Garland (“28 Days Later…”) makes his directorial debut with an incendiary and ultimate touching allegory on interconnection, the blowback from playing God (or Dr. Frankenstein) and even the image of women’s bodies, as created by a man.

The film opens with Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) getting a notice at his computer programming job that he has won a lottery. His prize is to spend a week at the secluded mountaintop manor of the reclusive tech company owner he works for, a wealthy genius named Nathan (Oscar Isaac). When Caleb arrives, he finds out the real reason he has “won” the trip.

Nathan has come close to perfecting an artificial intelligence [A.I.] robot android, and needs Caleb as an outside subject to administer a “Turing Test” (interaction with the androids, who all look like beautiful women). As the days go on, Caleb and the android Ava (Alicia Vikander) become closer, and Nathan becomes more overwrought. Planning an escape from the lair may prove compromising for both the android and the human.

“Ex Machina” has a limited release, including Chicago. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Dohmnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno. Written and directed by Alex Garland. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘Ex Machina”

Alicia Vikander
Ava (Alicia Vikander) Contemplates Her Face in ‘Ex Machina’
Photo credit: A24

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ‘Ex Machina”

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