No, it was not that good. In fact it was mostly annoying and predictable, except for some rare, refreshing moments. We have the necessary white guy, white girl and black guy, white guy is the ace with rough childhood and a smug smile which makes one want to kick his teeth in, white girl falls in love with him and vice versa, and the black guy gets to die first.
Then in comes EDI, the AI-pilot with enormous brain- or should I say, hard drive- capacity, getting hit buy a lightning (how very subtle) and thusly gaining what we might call the slight but oh so remarkable difference between acting like a conscious being and actually being one, gaining among other things and, maybe the most important of them all, a free will, and of course, in the process, going as they say "haywire".
And lo! for some brief, touching moment, it looks like the film really has hit the mark! We have the first ever artificial _life form_, a newborn person with sudden concepts of "I", "self", "need", "want".. with the armament of a smallish nation. Do we? How can we know? Where goes the line between imitating life, imitating self, and actually being one? If you are a monstrous computer mind in company of human beings, you quite quickly learn that "I" is a big word these days, whatever it means.
Imagine an emotional Helen Keller. A creature comes into consciousness with things going on inside it that it has no words for. How do you even begin to explain the concepts of "need", "want", "pleasure", "frustration" "remorse" to a.. _him_ that may have all the dictionaries in the world in himself but five minutes ago did not know what it is to actually feel any of these in your.. silicon equivalent for "gut"? Confusion! Which he of course probably couldn't even name that.
Morale? Responsibility? What the hell are those? How much can one learn from surrounding creatures- and how much of what one learns actually depends on those particular people from whom one draws example? This armed-up-to-teeth thing just suddenly comes to with all these "higher functions"- or at least the potential for them- suddenly _there_, with no time to stop and figure out what it is that is going on, why, and what to do about it because no one ever told him, taught him or bloody well programmed him to know.
If emotions can exist in binary code, then can any moment of anyone's behavior in any mood be taken down to strings of 1 and 0? These questions, of course, are being asked and, indeed, have for quite a while been asked by brilliant minds. It is the fantasy of "my god! what if we suddenly actually have the real thing in our hands?" which is way too delicious for imagination to ignore.
EDI is set to learn from squad leader. Squad leader is a rogue. EDI goes rogue. Now, for a Hollywood action film such a thing is almost poetic in its small philosophical twist. EDI sets off to find targets. "I am a war machine. War machine must have targets." How do you explain things like "imagine" or "purely hypothetical" to a newborn machine mind which sets off to execute an erasing mission that doesn't, in fact, exist? "If it isn't real then why is it implanted in my brain?" The possibilities! Machine mind is frustrated, it is sorry. It has no words to express any of these, confusion can only be recognized in its incapability to communicate in the situations in which it is.. feeling something.
What is intelligence? If it is simply having a big mind then the super computer should have no trouble at all to learn to at least communicate what goes on in its suddenly self conscious existence.
I don't know. I have been wrecking my brain on this, and what really, really pisses me off is that I feel so stupid just to wonder this. Because I know nothing of computers to begin with, let alone the theory of artificial intelligence. Neither am I adept in the area of philosophy, which might enlighten the understanding of what in fact self consciousness, an "I" concept, is, and what are emotions.
And here, finally, is what enraged me about the movie. Suddenly the existential questions are flushed. As if they never- ha ha- existed. The white guy takes EDI off to save the white girl who, accordingly, falls into his arms. The beautiful potential that is EDI goes "goodbye" and crashes himself on an enemy helicopter _for no-bloody-reason-at-all_. Except of course the possibility that he regretted what had done earlier, found existence simply too painful, or just couldn't take the sight of the smug s-o-b getting the girl after all (see former motivation) and committed, depending on previous motivations, either sacrifice or suicide.
None of this or these possibilities is, of course, communicated in any way.
Black guy gets buried in the sea. White guy and white chick have their conclusive talk after the oh so touching funeral in which they finally admit their feelings for one another. (Though I must say I was slightly amused my the white chick's saucy "Oh, just tell me you love me, pussy".) Not a single _bloody_ word of the first ever in our history artificial existence, machine mind come into consciousness, with all of its questions left unanswered, all its beautiful growth potential wasted, the end of its existence ignored in the light of the salvation of two hairless apes with six billion of a kind on this sorry planet anyway.
Review by Leeni-Maria Hovila from the Internet Movie Database.