A company that bears a striking resemblance to Google is run by a man who bears a striking resemblance to Steve Jobs who creates a woman that bears a striking resemblance to Rachel from Blade Runner. The bulk of the film is two men talking about esoteric subjects and occasionally getting drunk.
They are at a house somewhere near a glacier where the uber rich man whiles away the hours by making robotic women in the basement. He brings in one of his employees to give his latest robotic invention The Turing Test. Because, well, why not?
The effects for the robot body are pretty cool, but also seem oddly out of place. The robotic woman is basically walking around naked with her circuitry on display. The effect is occasionally ruined when they have her kneel on legs that appear far too thin and fragile to be kneeling on. There is also an odd scene where she steals the skin off an African American robot who is much taller and larger than she is, and it not only fits perfectly, but changes color.
Testing Ava the robot does feel like the testing in Blade Runner, that is to say, kind of pointless since the robot being tested is clearly self aware and could easily pass as human.
Articial Intelligence is right up there with Time Travel when it comes to science fiction, nothing good ever comes of it. Our rich jerk even talks about how A.I.s are going to look back on us the way we look back on fossils. Which begs the question of why the mad scientist makes them. He seems to view A.I.s as inevitable-and he likes to have sex with them as well. That’s the real reason for making an artificial woman, right? That’s why one of the villains on Buffy The Vampire Slayer made one.
I wasn’t too happy with the ending of Ex Machina. My expectations for Ava were guided down one path and then she took another. I fully understand what happens to the Steve Jobs clone, but I’m baffled by what happens to the hapless employee. The final scene closes a loop, but where does Ava go from there?
Ex Machina was basically a long thought experiment without much going on. The effects were mostly brilliant, the acting was good, and the story wasn’t all that bad. It still left me unsatisfied. Ava, in the end, fails the Turing Test after all.