Every corner of Earth has been exploited by capitalism. Socialist controls are instated to bring about balance for the human condition. The largest corporations begin to look beyond the planet. Ederlezi Corporation expands its deep space colonization program to Alpha Centauri."
The above lines are the opening scene text to A.I. RISING (a.k.a. EDERLEZI RISING). In the next few moments, the male lead of the movie, astronaut Milutin, is informed that he is being sent on a mission to, and I quote here, "install an ideology" on a planet in Alpha Centauri. What. Ever. That. Means. The name of the ideology to be "installed" was unfamiliar to me so it wasn't clear what the benefit to a corporation would be in mounting an expensive mission to "install" it.
Next, Milutin is informed that, unlike his previous space voyages, he'll be taking along a female android to help meet his various, ahem, "needs", and keep him focused on his duties on the mission. I know. It sounds like a bad set up for a terrible porno flick, and, somehow conveniently, the android is played by Jessica Stoya Stoyadinovich, a well-known pornographic actress more commonly known by her professional name, "Stoya".
The balance of the film plays out on the spaceship on its journey to Alpha Centauri. Ostensibly, the movie "explores" the elements and issues that might complicate theoretically possible near-future human-artificial intelligence relationships.
On the positive side, A.I. RISING certainly makes some bold stylistic statements, bravely ignoring the fact that they may not make any sense given the context. A.I. RISING has its own, strong sense of production design and, as rather peculiar as some of the set pieces may be, they're clearly deliberate and consistent. The movie has its own ideas and commits to them wholeheartedly.
Again, the primary setting of the movie is that of a spaceship traveling in space. Consequently there are more than a few images of the ship moving through space in the context of planets, stellar dust, nebulae and other cosmic phenomena. These effects are executed more than competently and in some circumstances are quite beautiful.
Whether you're going to enjoy this movie depends I think on whether you like your "science fiction" mixed with an art-house style that likes to obsessively contemplate its own navel. The movie is far more concerned with its art-house style and making exaggerated statements about controlling, toxic masculinity. Anything vaguely related to "science" is completely subordinated to the movie's "art". The 2 human characters we see are stereotyped well past the point of caricature and the only reason we can't say that about the android is none of us have ever met an android so we don't know if they're being caricatured.
The android spends most of "her" time naked. To remind us that she's an android while she's naked, there is a collection of black tattooed characters beneath the curve of her left breast. Because, you know, that's what androids have. And because if she didn't she'd just be another naked chick in the movies. Most of the time we see her naked it's for no apparent reason. Or maybe it's because art. I don't know.
The interior of the spaceship is depicted as consisting largely of giant empty voids, which spaceships simply do not have because of the fact that such voids exponentially increase the cost of operating the ship.
As long as you view A.I. RISING as an art-house exercise that is not science-fiction and simply has a spaceship as a set piece for no particular reason, A.I. RISING will be more palatable. Genuinely, it's a sort of psychosexual masturbation piece that ports the notion of toxic malefemale relationships to toxic maleAI relationships.
I rank movies on a relativistic scale. A movie is taken relative to whether the movie was what it intended to be and how well it ranks against other movies of its kind. I gave A.I. RISING a relatively low score because it intended to be a visually stunning art-house movie. While it had A FEW impressive scenes in it, it wasted so much time lingering interminably on unchanging images that the overall effect was visual stagnation. For example, there are scenes where the android is standing in a sort of alcove set into a wall as lights go up and down in the alcove; this is supposed to be a sort of charging station for the android. We seem to stare incessantly at these lights-going-up-and-down each time we see a scene like this and it was many times. The director apparently fell in love with some of his own visuals and wished the audience to stare at them relative to how much he loved them.
A.I. RISING was directed by Lazar Bodroza who originally made a name for himself as a visual artist. If he's going to be successful as a director he's going to need to get past some of his gosh-I-love-my-own-images tendencies.
Review by S_Soma from the Internet Movie Database.