Synopsis: “With an impoverished world plunged into a Cold War with a new enemy, Britain’s Ministry of Defence is on the brink of developing a game-changing weapon. Lead scientist Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens) provides the answer with his creation, The Machine – an android with unrivalled physical and processing skills. When a programming glitch causes an early prototype to destroy his lab, McCarthy enlists artificial intelligence expert Ava (Caity Lotz) to help him harness the full potential of a truly conscious fighting machine. “
The Welsh Blade Runner…
Dr. Vincent McCarthy is on the quest to find AI, under the umbrella of MOD. Wounded soldiers are fitted with implants and are rendered mute. Unbeknownst to McCarthy, they already developed their own kind of robot-communications, and a few homicidal tendencies.
When Ava starts asking too many questions, she is promptly told to mind her own business. Conveniently, Chinese terrorists (or are they?) do away with pesky Ava and her mechanoid is born.
McCarthy does have a touch of Doctor Frankenstein about him, as he creates humanity’s future ruin. He just wants to help his daughter, not take over the world. Denis Lawson is perfect as Thomson, the Corporate bastard. To him Robo-Ava is weapon and he manipulates the situation to suit himself.
The Machine is a visually stunning film full of conspiracies and it is hard to figure out who are the bad guys at times. The film is punctuated by sinister electro music- that adds a creepy claustrophobic atmosphere. A technique perfected over the years by the director John Carpenter.
If you are still unsold that AI can be devious, just remember that next time Siri gives you the wrong directions and you end up in the middle of a field. Just because you cant hear Siri laughing, doesn’t mean she/he/it isn’t.
The Machine is a quality British independent film that proves you can make a great Scifi film with out it turning into a CGI- crapfest.
This thought provoking film asks more questions than it answers, but at its core it is about what makes us human. This undiscovered gem is a must see for any hardcore Scifi fan. I give it 4 out 5 stars.