Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ex Machina

In a society where the local cineplex is over-saturated with franchise movies, remakes, reboots and sequels, it's practically a relief when something original comes along. Usually it's something from an independent movie studio but either way, it's a nice break from explosions and gunfights.

Alex Garland's Ex Machina is easily one such example of a break from Hollywood's monotonous big-budget cycle. Sure, it features some familiar elements of previous sci-fi films but it also has expansions of said elements. (Not bad coming from a directorial debut.)

Ex Machina also focuses on elements of the thriller genre throughout as well. Much like film noirs of the past and more recently Gone Girl, the film shows how someone could look innocent and completely harmless but are actually anything but. It doesn't take long before that flawless mask of theirs starts showing a few cracks.

Starring in Ex Machina are Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander, three actors who have been on the rise in recent years. This trio continues to prove here that they are most certainly people to keep an eye on. It won't be much longer until they're the most sought after actors in the business.

Ex Machina is a brilliant and complex film though not without its faults. For instance, why is it in always the case in fiction that robots and AIs have the female form? Is it so their creators have a better sense of control over them? (Granted, such a situation works here but in other instances, it feels slightly sexist.) Still, Garland provides a well-done escape from usual Hollywood fare.

My Rating: ****1/2

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