Can sexual attraction erase the gap between something that is artificial and something that is human? Even if that connection is, in and of itself, an artificial product of manipulation? Those seem to be the questions at the heart of Alex Garland’s Ex Machina after a cursory glance.
The sci-fi thriller features Star Wars: The Force Awakens co-stars Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson as Nathan, a mysterious CEO who has walled himself off within his massive estate, and Caleb, Nathan’s employee and the person who he has selected to perform a Turing Test on Eva (Alicia Vikander), a robot with appealing features and the ability to display human behavior.
As you can see in the above trailer, things aren’t at all what they seem to be, and they certainly don’t go according to plan. Unless, of course, they actually do. Is Caleb the one who’s actually being tested? What about Nathan? Besides the allure of creating AI that is truly indistinguishable from a human, what are his motives?
Ex Machina, which comes out on April 10, marks Alex Garland’s directorial debut, though you may have seen his work before since he wrote Sunshine, 28 Days Later, and Dredd.
It’s also worth noting that Gleeson came at some of these questions from a different point of view in an episode of Black Mirror, when he played a replica of a man who had died young and left a grieving wife behind. It’s on Netflix,and if you’re reading this, it’s probably relevant to your interests… though, I understand I may be the 19th person to foist that show upon you.