By: Emily Weber
The dance scene. I just can’t wait to talk about the dance scene.
But let’s get through some of the more important elements first. Ex Machina stars Oscar Isaac (Nathan), Domhnall Gleeson (Caleb), and Alicia Vikander (Artificial Intelligence Ava) are all fantastic so it’s no surprise that this film is well acted. Vikander did a solid manic-pixie-robot appearance. Domhnall Gleeson, as Caleb, played the innocent-hero role well. And don’t get me started on Oscar Isaac, who was fantastic, because too much on this subject and I’ll just start talking about the dance scene already.
Ex Machina is a sci-fi. The plot focus is Caleb and Nathan trying to Turing Test the A.I. Ava that Nathan created to determine Ava’s humanity. The film really has elements of a thriller as well. Nathan and Caleb are camped out in a spooky, isolated lock-down house with only the company of Kyoko, Nathan’s Japanese she-servant who doesn’t speak any English. When Caleb enters Nathan’s world you can immediately tell the isolation has been weighing on Nathan (he’s constantly drinkin’ his sorrows away). Plus the soundmixing really gave me that creeeeepy feel. It’s a very atmospheric film.
Nathan and Caleb being out there on their own gives them a lot of time for posturing about what Nathan has done by creating the AIs, like Ava, and what this creation will mean for the world. The outside world seemingly has no idea that Nathan is creating very near life-like AIs. Will the AIs have a conscious? How will they feel toward their human creators? Will the AIs have our human flaws?
I think I failed the Turing test, though, because I didn’t really care about Ava with the sympathy I think you were supposed to feel. It’s not that Ava was not well acted. Vikander did a fantastic job. I just couldn’t help but feel unsettled by her uncanniness. That’s my only negative. Nonetheless, I like the ultimate question that the movie’s posing for its viewers about “gods” (demi-gods, whatever you might call them) and the creatures they create. The theme was a solid one and it will stick with me.
But not as much as the Nathan-Kyoko dance scene will.
I will watch Oscar Isaac Tear Up the F*@king Dance Floor any time. And in fact I’ve watched this clip several times since seeing the movie. “I cannot take credit for any of that,” said Oscar. “[It was done] by a choreographer who had won Mr. Disco in the U.K. in the mid-‘90s, so he knows his stuff.”- said Oscar Isaac on the Late, Late Show. It’s the scene that everyone’s talking about.
IMO? Give Oscar all of the Oscar awards. Please.