Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: The Machine

The Machine is a British SF thriller.  There are many plot lines running through this film, however for me the main theme is Vincent McCarthy is a scientist who's main motivation would seem to be doing research on brain implants to help brain damaged patients to function.

It soon becomes clear that his aim is to help his daughter who is severely brain damaged.

The only place where McCarthy seems to be able to do his research is in a super secret military facility where he is tasked to develop implants that will help damaged soldiers able to think and function.

McCarthy does succeed in combining implants and human into a reasonably stable cyborg, but it soon becomes clear that the computing needs to go to a much higher level.

Researcher Ava is recruited after demonstrating her work in AI. Ava however is killed after voicing her suspicions that the men she is working with are being treated inhumanly.   McCarthy then uses scans of her brain in a cyborg that resembles Ava.  He soon discovers that Machine may be self aware.

Of course this is only half of the movie, but by this time you are fully vested in Machine, McCarthy and his daughter's fates.  The action soon becomes non stop as Machine is trained in various deadly
martial arts.  But the downside for me was so many of the plot lines just seem to fall away or are not developed clearly.  The bad guys are singularly evil where Machine is supposed to be part of the "good" guys but manages to do most of the killing in the movie.

By this point the movie has fallen into well worn tracks of evil government, questionable science and completely predictable ending.

The sets and locals really lend to the menace of the film. The photography and writing are different enough to hold your interest.

Caity Lotz is certainly beguiling as both Ava and The Machine.

However all the good parts don't hold together well enough to sustain the movie.

I would give the film a 6 or maybe a 7 out of 10.  The menace is there and the action is great, but together they do not hold the movie together.

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