“Why is it up to anyone?”
British Sci-fi can be a truly wonderful thing. In the last decade, Children of Men, Monsters, Moon and Under the Skin have proved that British Sci-fi can be very special. Ex Machina is a very worthy successor to this exceptional list.
Ex Machina is a highly intelligent film that’s story plays out in a very satisfactory fashion. The film moves at times very swiftly and at other times, quite slowly, but always holding a very tangible tension. Slightly unfortunately, the film plays out in quite a predictable manner. However this predictability plays out in a stirring experience.
This story is made by an excellent cast. Domhnall Gleeson is again brilliant playing his enthusiastic, heartfelt self and Alicia Vikander is hypnotising as the all-too-human A.I., Ava. Yet, it is Oscar Isaac who is in inspired form. The A Most Violent Year star looks awesome with his shaved head and beard combo, and is haunting in his moral ambiguity. Another tremendous turn reaffirms Oscar Isaac as one of my absolute favourite actors working today.
The Norwegian mountain retreat is a stunning backdrop to this tense, tight thriller full of uncertainty. Ex Machina has no sure villain, no certain right or wrong actions and flourishes in its haziness. Alex Garland gives an impressive debut with his delicate handling of the camera work and the detachment he creates in filming through the glass divisions. His sleek, clean futuristic style is sharp and satisfying. Great things beckon for Garland.
Ex Machina is another picture in a long line of excellent British Sci-fi thrillers and will keep you guessing ‘til the end. Ex Machina isn’t perfect, nor is it totally original, but it’s a damn good film.