Rage against humans as machines bite back

Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb. Photo: PA Photo/Universal Pictures
Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb. Photo: PA Photo/Universal Pictures

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the original Star Wars trilogy, Alien, Blade Runner and The Terminator peddled artificial intelligence as science fantasy, the reality of conscious machines seemed distant.

Today a world controlled by computers appears within our sweaty grasp.

For his bravura directorial debut, London-born author and screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later) explores mankind’s unquenchable desire to give birth to sophisticated automata that learns from its mistakes.

Shot largely within the confines of a state-of-the-art complex, which has enough fibre-optic cabling in the walls “to reach the moon and lasso it”, Ex Machina is a deeply disturbing thriller that explores the murky moral ramifications of creating a robot that could pass for human.

Ex Machina exerts a vice-like grip on our attention, anchored by riveting performances from the central trio.

Gleeson exudes sufficient sweetness and naivete to convince us he would be an unsuspecting pawn in Caleb’s diabolical and ultimately deadly game.

A must see sci-fi thriller.