Although on first impression Ex Machina might look like your standard glossy sci-fi affair, there might actually be a lot more going on than meets the eye.
Bear in mind, this flick is directed by Alex Garland, the screenwriter of such films as 28 Days Later, Dredd, and Sunshine. This will be his first time behind the camera, but from the looks of the first poster and trailer, he has delivered something cerebral, thrilling, and a little bit claustrophobic - but in the good way. Check out the poster and trailer below:
Caleb Smith (Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-‐search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test—charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated, seductive––and more deceptive–– than the two men could have imagined.
Sure, artificial intelligence movies have been done time and time again, and you could almost claim the sub-genre is a bit cliche. However, with the likes of Oscar Isaac and Domhall Gleeson heading the film, and perhaps a less action orientated storyline, we might be in store for something a little different.
Having said that, the history of recent screenwriter to sci-fi director transitions has not been very positive. Wally Pfister recently made his directorial debut with the slightly similar, Transcendence. It turned out to a high-concept thriller that was that poorly received by both audiences and critics - quite a rare feat.
Here's hoping Alex Garland can do a bit better.
The film was picked up for a US release by A24. It's expected in theaters in April 10th, 2015.
Ex Machina looks...