Dredd, 28 Days Later, Sunshine … three films that could be considered some of the best science fiction released in the past fifteen years. 28 Days Later all but solidified biological agents as a source of zombies, and after Return of the Living Dead made fast zombies in vogue. Dredd further solidified cyberpunk as one of the most overlooked genres and yet one of the most viable. And Sunshine was considered by many as a better film than Prometheus. The one thing they have in common is that the screenwriter was a man named Alex Garland who makes his directorial debut with the new film Ex Machina.
Ex Machina starts with Caleb, a promising computer programmer, winning a contest at the multibillion dollar company that he works at which inserts him on a project for the company owner, Nathan. Out in the wilderness, Nathan has a home/office building where he is creating the first sentient artificial intelligence. Caleb’s job is to commune with this robot named Ava and determine, in his opinion, whether it is able to think like a living being. But as always, bigger questions are asked.
Originally the film appeared set for a limited release, but it was widely distributed on April 24, 2015 to hundreds of theaters. Unlike some more recent science fiction films, it would be categorized as more hard sci-fi and possibly a warning for the future. With its strong techno-thriller features, the film has received rave reviews by the majority of critics. With this episode, Dark Discussions gives their take of the film and also try to answer the many questions that it presents.