Not since the one-two of Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca in 1997 and Alex Proyas’s Dark City in 1998 has a big-budget, big-return films posited the kind of highly credible near future that obliges us to confront the philosophical dilemmas raised by technological advances that we find in Alex Garland’s directorial debut, Ex Machina.
The tale is set in a world in which the search engine “BlueBook” (the name is arguably the least creative aspect of the entire screenplay), the fictional equivalent of Google, collects and processes the data from everyone around the world with access to a communication device.
The reason for this is that the head of the company — a reclusive 30-something named Nathan (Oscar Isaac), who is a prodigiously gifted programmer that wrote the base code for Blue Book at the age of 13 — wants to take human civilization to the next level. His goal is to use all of this data to construct a creature with artificial intelligence (AI), the likes of which would be indistinguishable from an organically evolved human being.
To his credit, Garland, perhaps best-known for writing the novel The Beach, does not burden his story with theory or philosophical digressions. He uses a very small cast, centers the action in a single location for almost the entirety of the film and provides minimal but distinct signposts to track the development of the drama.
To read the full review, visit The Prague Post. Ex Machina is currently showing in cinemas in Bulgaria.
(Still of Domhnall Gleeson in Ex Machina. © 2015 – Universal Pictures International)