Ex Machina tackles the question of A.I but like never before. Where as we may get hand-waved explanations of the tech in say, I Robot, Ex Machina has done it’s homework and is all the more terrifying for it. We follow computer programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) as he wins a company competition to spend a week at the isolated home of his CEO Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), shadowy tech billionaire of a prominent search engine now dabbling in androids and A.I, remind you of anyone?
Caleb is tasked with testing Nathan’s latest creation Ava (Alicia Vikander), a lifelike android on the cusp of consciousness. Part of the film’s brilliance is how it deals with the tough questions, how did Nathan get close to the problem of consciousness in machines? Well, by illegally harvesting search engine data from every phone on the planet, allowing him to not only know what people thought about, but how they thought, cataloging the patterns between their searches.
Ex Machina’s brilliance lies in its tantalising plausibility, just out of reach yet rooted enough in what we know to make you feel your synapses fire along with Ava’s progression, expanding our consciousness as we explore the possibility of creating a consciousness - plus Oscar Issac turns in one of the dance performances of the last twenty years.