There was a time when the note on IMDb determine with amazing accuracy whether a film is worth watching or not. This film is rated 6.2 at the time I was writing this review. Meanwhile, another film from 2013, stands perched on a much higher position with not deserved 7.9 score I’m referring to Star Trek: Into Darkness. As much as I’d like Benedict Cumberbatch, the film clearly shows the current trend of investing everything in special effects, creating a eye-catching trailer and let the story just go with it.
The Machine is a low budget film. It’s a movie about androids but being unable to rely on special effects of the highest quality, the movie unfolds a very well written story. With a dark atmosphere, the film focuses on characters, with more than a clear asimovian feel to it.
Caught in a cold war with China, the British government is using an artificial intelligence expert in order to take a technological lead against their rivals. Meanwhile, Vincent (excellent performance by Toby Stephens) takes advantage of the money invested in this field by MIT in the hope that he could find a cure for his daughter’s illness. The dark laboratories of the Ministry of Defense are full of wounded British soldiers have been repaired with bionic implants and prostheses. It is there where the first self-aware android is created. Things get complicated when the government will have to decide whether they have the moral right to manipulate a stand-alone intelligent entity (I somehow doubt this would ever be a dilemma in real life).
I do not want to say too much about the plot as I don’t want to spoil the pleasure of watching it. I’ll just add that I was impressed and pleased at the same time to discover a science-fiction film that flows so well. The evolution of the characters is refined, following the rhythm imposed by the action as it changes. The Machine has an consistent atmosphere with a solid actor play, the right combination for a good science fiction film. A mix of profound philosophical ideas and strong emotions, this is a movie I highly recommend and whose score on IMDb I find to be misleading.