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REVIEW OF EX MACHINA

year: 2015 rating: **
At one point, as we move slowly towards a conclusion, Oscar Issac, playing tech genius entrepreneur Nathan, tells his special guest how time flies. And in this particular case, time flies coach.

Although EX MACHINA, mirroring science-fiction cult cinema ranging from 2001 to BLADE RUNNER, is first class in structure, aesthetics, and characterization: too bad we don’t get to know the humans as well as the Artificial Intelligence – that being Alicia Vikander’s beautiful Ava…

With a soft, passive countenance, she manipulatively seduces her creator’s employee, Domhnall Gleeson’s Caleb, who isn’t quite sure what his job is, exactly. Called upon to a rural wilderness outpost to test his boss’s new “robot,” he spends most of the time in cerebral conversations with either Nathan or Ava: One likes to drink, spout pop culture references and avoids the point at hand while the other seeks freedom from the glorified FRANKENSTEIN mansion. 

Issac wields a snarky, roguish charm that will hopefully serve him (and us) in the upcoming STAR WARS 7: THE FORCE AWAKENS – a blunt manner balancing the vulnerability of that highly anticipated film’s other young star, Gleeson. But in MACHINA, we hardly focus past all the expository wallpaper: A real shame since there's the right kind of “genuine sci-fi” elements, from an ominous soundtrack to dialogue that goes way over your head, and then some.
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