Film Review by Kam Williams
Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens) is an English computer genius conducting experiments in Artificial Intelligence with the assistance of Ava (Caity Lotz), a brilliant scientist recently arrived from the United States. He’s highly motivated because he hopes to mend his mentally-disabled daughter.
However, Vincent’s research is being underwritten by Britain’s Ministry of Defense which might have less peaceful plans for the fruits of his labors. The plot thickens soon after Ava perishes in an accident, and he implants her brain in the body of a robot which looks just like her and… Voila! A babelicious cyborg is born!
Ava 2.0 is so naïve she can neither understand the concept of death nor appreciate her own superhuman strength. That innocence taps into Vincent’s protective parental instincts.
Unfortunately, the army is only interested in weaponizing what they see as an invention with unlimited military potential. After all, it’s currently in an arms race with a resurgent China, and Ava will give the West the competitive edge.
Written and directed by Caradog W. James, The Machine is a very compelling sci-fi thriller, for a film resting on a preposterous premise. The film is blessed with shadowy cinematography and just the right pseudo-scientific babblt to make this critic think maybe it’s all possible.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the title character is cute and curvy and not a confounding concatenation of nuts and bolts. This cautionary tale also has a sobering message to share about the perils of allowing technology to fall into the wrong hands.
Beware, the Manchurian android!
Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for violence and profanity
Running time: 91 minutes
Distributor: XLrator Media
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