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“Ex Machina”: Sci-Fi Movie or Glimpse into the Future?

Jose Mendez – Hannah Hwang

Column by Jose Mendez

Jose Mendez - Hannah Hwang

Well by now you, my loyal and incredible readers, have gotten a sense of how I just love to trash on incredibly horrendous movies. Seriously, I really get a huge kick out of it. Nothing gives me more joy than to let people know how bad a movie is when they see these movies advertised as “hilariously funny,” “number one in the world” or “the greatest blah blah since blah.” I was really debating whether or not to write another rant, but I felt like you all deserved something that you can actually read and eventually watch and enjoy. That is why I have chosen to review one of my favorite movies of 2015 (I know, it’s really late but I realized that this movie still doesn’t have the attention that it deserves.) So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my movie review of the incredibly amazing and jaw-dropping… “Ex Machina.”

“Ex Machina,” directed by Alex Garland, staring Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson, is just one of those movies that you’ve probably never heard of or might have seen marketed on YouTube. It’s about a computer expert named Caleb (Gleeson) who wins a competition to get flown to this innovator/genius’s (Isaac) house/research and development facility to work on some high-tech secret project. This character proceeds to discover that Isaac’s character, Nathan, has created an A.I. named Ava (Vikander) that has a humanoid form. Nathan has Caleb conduct interviews and tests with her in order to see if she is, in fact, a real A.I. It is such a simple premise, but in actuality, the film takes unique turns and twists as it begins to create tension for the characters and its viewers.

This is such a tension-filled movie, and I love it! At nowhere in this movie did I feel bored or confused, even when they discussed computer engineering or technical elements — I was just so intrigued. And this tension is only further and successfully developed because these characters/actors have such a great chemistry. I have to hand it to Isaac in this movie for someone who portrays such an intriguing character. He plays this rich recluse, but whenever he speaks he really draws his audience in. Nothing else could be happening in the scene but when he’s talking you’re just left there wanting more of him. But the real star of this movie is the lead actress, Vikander as Ava. OH. MY. GOD. Ava is on another fucking level. She is someone (yes, someone, not something) that everyone is invested in. What’s important to note is how beautifully set her motions are, how it seems that she is learning and appreciating every single element about her body and life. You, as the audience, are on an experience with Caleb through this experiment, but in actuality you are in this life experience with Ava as she is experiencing life and everything we usually take for granted.

The real quest within this movie is being able to trust these characters. You begin to trust one person and then abandon them for another just to feel nervous about them. You want to trust Nathan because of his intellect but then you begin to question his morality and reasoning for creating Ava. You initially trust Caleb as he is the one learning about the creation of A.I. and the implications it has on humanity. But then you want to trust Ava as she begins to interact with humans and you just feel that she is the victim of humanity itself. With these characters, you are left there subconscious about it all.

I will warn you that if you are someone who happens to dislike tension building, character development and slow movies then you might not really enjoy this movie. Which is really unfortunate because this movie deserves more than just an Oscar nomination for visual effects. This movie is like wine. The more you think about it and the more you view it, the more you will enjoy and appreciate it. This is not something that I am trying to warn you about — this is a movie you need to watch and have the experience of watching it. Take note: don’t watch it with people that will only talk and talk and not give a rat’s ass about it. Trust me, watching this movie with friends that have had a long day of taking shots and partying all day and night is not worth.

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