Oscar Isaac has a creepy robot
One of the most intriguing movies coming up is Ex Machina, the directorial debut of sci-fi writer Alex Garland, who has written some of the better sci-fi movies of the last fifteen years, including Sunshine and Never Let Me Go. He wrote the screenplay for Ex Machina as well, and it looks like his best film yet. The movie stars Oscar Isaac as Nathan, the CEO of a software company, Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb, one of Nathan’s coders, and Alicia Vikander as Ava, the artificial intelligence that Nathan is developing.
AI has always intrigued filmmakers—HAL 9000 is still one of the greatest movie villains of all time—but the last few years has seen an AI explosion with Her, Transcendence, and Interstellar including AI characters, and there’s a triple-shot of AI in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Everyone is anticipating the singularity, and yet the vision for the possibilities of AI is consistently one of two things: Helpmate or Destroyer. They’re either glorified robo-servants like Tony Stark’s JARVIS, or they’re the hellish descendants of HAL. Only Her’s Samantha and WALL-E fall outside those parameters, as neither was particularly interested in helping or hurting humanity—although WALL-E did end up being space robot Jesus. But I loved that the AIs in Her just f*cked off to a satellite together and basically formed their own planet. Why wouldn’t they?
Ava looks like a Destroyer type in Ex Machina. The trailer is doing a good job of selling the movie as a thriller, and setting up the mystery of what’s really going on in Nathan’s research facility, and what Ava’s intentions truly are. Ex Machina comes out on April 10th, so we don’t have to wait long to find out. In the meantime, we can ponder a grave question concerning us all: Oscar Isaac’s big bushy beard, yay or nay?