Ex Machina — 4/10

EX MACHINA (2015, Alex Garland)

…and that’s what I was thinking the entire movie. Get there faster! Actually, it probably didn’t matter how fast it got there; because I knew where it was going and I didn’t care to see it happen. But Domhnall Gleeson’s character Caleb is essentially Joey in that FRIENDS scene. The audience is (or should be, if you’re halfway paying attention) aware of what’s really going on in this plot but Caleb just can’t fucking figure it out. And he’s supposed to be some intelligent kid. (On a tangent — Gleeson is kind of playing the same part he did in FRANK: studying a strange person and not realizing that in his attempts to be good he’s actually messing everything up). So it’s a slog as we impatiently wait for everyone to catch up to the obvious. What’s more insulting is Garland presents the “reveals” as if they’re twists we could have never seen coming. Even though they’re not only telegraphed and predictable, but really the only potential outcomes that would make any sense.

There are some things to recommend, however. Oscar Issac is quite good as Nathan, a loner recluse billionaire genius who’s half Tony Stark and half Dr. Frankenstein. The production design is very cool (but how does that house stay so clean? You never see Kyoko or Nathan doing any housework) and the dialogue has some clever zingers. But watching it crawl at half speed to the most obvious conclusion imaginable is absolutely maddening.

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