British Science Fiction thriller ‘Ex-Machina’ starring Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson & Alicia Vikander is a stunning piece of story-telling, superb acting and a gripping plot. Directed by Alex Garland, who is well known for being the author of ‘The Beach’ back in 1996, it was then ultimately picked up by the upcoming British director Danny Boyle who then hired Alex Garland to write the screenplay for the adaptation for the eventual film a few years later. Even after the production troubles with ‘The Beach’, Alex Garland continued to work with Danny Boyle by writing the script for ’28 Days Later’ which was a huge success, and is a personal favourite of mine. Since then, he has collaborated once again with Danny Boyle on ‘Sunshine’ and also went on to write the script for the underrated ‘Dredd’ film back in 2012. ‘Ex-Machina’ being his first directorial feature, he bodes well for the future as a director/screenwriter and deserves all the praise the film has received.
Domhnall Gleeson is a young computer coder who wins the opportunity to spend a week in the house of the CEO (Oscar Isaac) of the company for who he works for. Already within the first few minutes, we are transported to this ‘paradise’ of a house in the mountains of nowhere. The stunning landscape already creates the tension of the house. Questions float through your mind throughout as you could not imagine anything sinister going on in such an exotic place. Within the first few hours, Oscar Isaac announces that he wants Domhnall Gleeson’s character Caleb to be a part of an experiment for a week to take part in the ‘Turing test’ with his A.I ‘Ava’ to see how she is responding.
All it not what it seems as Caleb discovers that Nathan (Oscar Isaac) may be hiding some secrets from him and becomes wary of him after speaking to Ava throughout the week. As tension ensues, the film comes to a gripping finale and provides us with one of the special gems of this year already. Great performances as per usual from Oscar Isaac & Domhnall Gleeson, but the upcoming Swedish actress Alicia Vikander steals the thunder from the lead actors and delivers a stunning performance as Ava. Already proving to be hot property, Alicia Vikander has already starred in two films this year and has another four confirmed films scheduled to be released this year, so expect to see more him this rising talent.
Overall, ‘Ex-Machina’ is a brilliant portrayal at how AI could possibly work, the dangers and positives that can happen at the expense of an AI. Alex Garland has delivered this year’s Sci-Fi film to beat! Massively influenced by Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Ex-Machina’ is a superb sci-fi thriller which is written to perfection; the slow start to the plot thickens throughout and produces an interesting an thought provoking finale. 4.5 out of 5 stars.