ScAI-fAI by Alex Garland, USA 2014

Caleb is a young programmer at the world’s largest search engine company. One day he wins a staff lottery and gets to visit his mysterious boss at his recluse estate way off in the wilderness. Once there, it turns out that he’s to perform a Turing test on the enigmatic entrepreneur’s latest creation: a fully functional AI.

As sci-fi goes, ‘Ex machina’ is somewhat bottle episodey, which can be a good thing. The main actors do tremendous jobs, in particular Oscar Isaac as the arrogant, yet likeable arsehole he’s prone to portray and Sweden’s own Alicia Vikander as the AI robot Ava. The interaction between tester and subject gets ever more tense, and something doesn’t feel right, neither for Caleb, nor the audience. I had expected a plot twist or two, and I had already patted myself on the back for figuring it out right from the beginning. But sometimes looks can be deceiving, and sometimes deceiving can be deceiving, as well.

Bechdel test: fail

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