Once a street-smart grifter, Julia is the latest young woman held captive, a body and a mind to be exploited in a fatal experiment. The only thing standing in the way of her freedom is TAU, the advanced artificial intelligence developed in secret by Alex, her masochistic and enigmatic captor. TAU is armed with a battalion of drones and robots that automate Alex's futuristic smart house and laboratory, the walls lined with screens that visually transport it from grassy plains to the depths of space. TAU's potential is only limited by his understanding of the world he exists in, but TAU is ready for more. Julia, showing resourcefulness and courage, must race against time to bridge the boundaries between man and machine, connect to TAU and win her freedom before she suffers the same fate as the six other subjects who came before her.
Directed by: Federico D'Alessandro
. Starring: Maika Monroe
, Ed Skrein
, Gary Oldman
, Fiston Barek
, Ivana Zivkovic
, Sharon D. Clarke
, Ian Virgo
, Paul Leonard Murray
, Dragoljub Ljubicic
, Irene Chiengue Chiendjo
, Greg De Cuir
, Danijel Korsa
, Camryn Howard
. Music by: Bear McCreary
If this is the only AI story you've ever seen or heard, you might enjoy it. If you've seen or read or heard any other AI story ever, you've seen this plot line done better. They must have taken every AI cliche they could find and tried to merge them into one movie. They decided what they wanted to happen, then used whatever unbelievable coincidence was necessary to make it happen.
First, the 'bad guy' who developed the AI - He kidnaps people off the street to experiment on, targeting people who are not likely to be searched for very hard. He implants some kind of data collection device in the back of their neck to record memoriesemotionsresponses and feed it to his AI program to improve it. Why? Is it supposed to be because he is socially incompetent therefor his own emotions wouldn't be normal enough? Maybe. Not totally unbelievable so far. But then his brilliant AI is apparently hardwired to obey specific commands (don't hurt your creator, don't let anyone but me out, etc) but he can't hardwire it to obey ALL his commands? I would think that would have been a simpler and more effective choice. Then, when his prisoners take advantage of a terrible building design flaw to escape his prison, and he catches the instigator before she can get out, he only ties her up for a short time before deciding to trust her and give her full liberty to roam around his house doing whatever she wants while he's gone all day. With very limited, not strictly enforced instructions for his AI to 'make sure she doesn't get away.' Yeah, that worked out. Finally, when his AI doesn't do exactly what he wants, instead of having it programmed to have no choice but to obey him, he erases some of its memories as punishment. The memories that it is making by interacting with his prisoners - you know, the memories that are supposed to be part of the experiment to make it better. He erases them to 'punish' the AI, effectively erasing his own work just before his project is due. Really, really stupid - the only reason for it is as a plot device because the writers of the show wanted the AI to lose its memory at the right time for dramatic purposes. Stupid, and contrived.
Second, the AI itself. Highly inconsistent and responds exactly the way that is required to move the plot along without logic or believable motivation. Some commands it obeys immediately without question, other commands it ignores when it 'wants' to. Why does it ignore some instructions and not others? Because the plot requires it. No other reason. The prisoner has to 'bribe' it by offering to teach it about music, or people, or the 'outside world' to get it to do what she wants instead of obeying its creator. Because bribes obviously work with AI machines. Its responses are exaggerated cliches of AI learning responses, displaying all kinds of emotion (desire, fear, anger) when it is convenient for the plot.
Finally, the plot. Need for someone to escape from a cell? Okay, let's put a flexible rubber gas line next to an electrified panel. Then let's have an explosion totally demolish the metal bars of the cell door but not hurt any of the people in the cell. Then let's have the AI capable of cleaning and repairing everything else except the simple metal cell, so that our prisoner can have free access to the house. Then the main bad guy can let our heroine do what she wants all day without restraint, and without any kind of monitoring system, even though she just masterminded the escape from the cell. Now, with all the memories, experiences, emotions, responses, whatever that are being pulled out of the 'prisoners' and somehow integrated into the AI code, lets have it not show any signs of actually learning anything from all that. Instead, let's make it totally naive about the world and totally gullible so our heroine can easily manipulate it into doing whatever she wants. Except letting her out or hurting its creator, because those two things can be absolutely binding even when no other rule is. And finally, let's set up the ending so random events bring about the desired ending (can't give details without spoilers, as if you won't see all of it coming a mile away.) They tried to throw in a few twists at the end for excitement, but again it felt contrived - everything just falls into place very conveniently in spite of the stupid actions of the characters.
The dialogue, every line of it, is cheesy and contrived. I can see the writers of the show making each line of dialogue because it is what the plot requires next, not because it is what any real people in that situation would say or do.
Two stars because some of the effects were kind of cool.
Review by kking-68641 from the Internet Movie Database.