A young programmer wins a lottery to spend a week at his reclusive employer’s top secret research facility, little knowing he would be responsible for assessing an advanced artificial intelligence in the form of a robot with the face of a beautiful woman.
Ex Machina is a psychological thriller that explores the themes of individuality, sense of self, the morality of artificial intelligence and sexuality. An action extravaganza it is not; and it is all the better for the fact. It’s one of those stories that plays with your perceptions, meaning that you never quite sure who is the “bad guy” and who is the good. Oscar Isaac muddies the line between affable drunk and sinister narcissist with skill and Alicia Vikander is completely believable as the sweet and innocent robotic heroine. The story is low key in tone and builds seemingly very slowly but this makes the coup de grace it administers all the more effective.
Very much in the tradition of Isaac Asimov, Ex Machina is an affecting, intelligent and thought provoking piece of science fiction of the type that seldom seems to get made any more.