I knew I wanted to see this movie from the trailer and I thought I knew what it was about, I didn't. This was not at all the film I was expecting to see....
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) a mild-mannered programmer at one of the biggest tech firms in history (from what I can tell) wins a competition to visit the company owner (Oscar Issac) at his private estate and be a part of a test involving an Artificial Intelligence robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander). Caleb is tasked to meet with Ava and perform a Turing Test - i.e. assess Ava's humanity.
First I want to say that I loved this film, I was gripped from beginning to end and it wasn't at all predictable (to me at least!) and it was nothing like I expected it to be (I was thinking more Chappie less Frankenstein) but I am struggling to review it. I can't really explain why I liked it or my favourite parts (they include spoilers) so how do I review it?!
Ok first the actors, I love Domhnall Gleeson, I have loved him since About Time, he has this nervous energy that is perfect for this type of role (is anyone concerned about typecasting for him, I think he needs to do something now that no one would expect!). He plays the excitable, nervous, terrified and quietly confident Caleb to a tee, contrasting Oscar Issac's terrifyingly intelligent and reclusive Nathan faultlessly. I have seen Issac in a few movies but he's never really stood out to me, until now. His performance had me on the edge of my seat in suspense, I didn't know what he was thinking or planning and the whole film had this edge that something about him wasn't quite right.
The story was really interesting and different and more scary than anything because this could be happening right now, there is technology in the world that could develop an Ava, this literally could be tomorrow. The majority of the movie is set in Nathan's underground 'lair' with no windows and locks on every door, it gives a real feel if claustrophobia (not sure it helped that I was sat on a plane feeling very real claustrophobia!!) even though there was a huge wide open space outside the lounge window. I think the idea that Caleb came in by chopper and there was no way for him to get out unless it was arranged added to this uneasy setting.
Personally, I would say this is one of those films that cannot be done justice in a review, you just have to see it for yourself. I appear to be giving out a lot of 10's recently, I'm not sure if its just because I happen to be really enjoying films lately or if I'm going soft in my old age!! :-/