Ex Machina kind of came out of nowhere for me. Only recently had I noticed the posters at my local cinemas and I hadn’t even seen any trailers other than the few TV ones that have started appearing recently. Anyway all I needed to intrigue me was to know that this was a sci-fi film starring Oscar Isaac, who is probably my favourite actor of the moment.
Fascinating is the word I would used to describe this film. Every aspect of the movie is just so enthralling, I never even once thought about becoming bored. The science that is discussed in the movie is what fascinated me, it was very intellectual however it combined its intelligence with visual aids making for so many great scenes. I loved just watching the characters discuss the science even if some of it did go over my head. The setting helped with my fascination as well, I loved the shots that we were treated too of the surrounding scenery, a lot of it was awe-inspiring. The research facility where this film is based is equally awe-inspiring being futuristic and slick. It may as well have been a spaceship but of course I loved this. Probably my favourite element of the whole film though was its score. Composed and written by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow the score fitted this film perfectly. It was so subtle at times which is exactly what it needed to be but it was so in keeping with the vibe of the film. On other occasions it was so in your face that you couldn’t miss it and you literally felt it go through you. Both in these more subtle moments and in the more obvious ones the result was some of the best tension and suspense I have felt in the cinema for some time, really superb.
Despite this fantastic atmosphere I did have a few minor issues the film. The first was there was a slight lack of action. Understandably for the most part of the film as tension builds there doesn’t need to be any and I liked this, it showed the films strength however once the potential for action did arise I am not sure that it was met to its full ability. I loved the ending to this film and there is a perfect scene where the credits should have roled however the film decides to go on to show you a few more scenes which were implied anyway, I think the film would have been so much more effective if left on this great scene and with the audience using their imagination for what was to come next. Anyway those really were minor flaws, but flaws nonetheless. The three lead performances were all fantastic and were instrumental to why I enjoyed the film so much, Isaac (Nathan) brings a great confidence to his role and as always brings his A game, playing probably one of his most interesting characters to date. Domhnall Gleeson (Caleb) just continues to makes waves in the acting scene here fresh from his roles in Frank and Unbroken – Gleeson seems to improve with every role and this is easily my favourite of his. Straight out of Testament of Youth comes Alicia Vikander (Ava) and here she plays the absolute opposite of her previous role, she is fantastic much like her two male counterparts and brings so much life to her robotic role.
I loved this movie, it is probably my favourite of the year so far. The story was so gripping and it got straight into it, the tension and suspense that accompanied it were brilliant and I really noticed their positive impact on the film. The small but mighty cast deliver three fantastically unique performances from each other but equally impressive. This is a real gem of a sci-fi film and will no doubt be a modern classic in terms of the genre. There is also a wonderfully more light-hearted scene which I loved although there was a clear dark undertone to it which gave this scene depth, much like the whole film.
BIGGEST FLAW – Lack of action where it was appropriate
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – The score
Rating – 9/10