Amid all the bombast of superhero blockbusters and science fiction franchises starting with “Star”, it hasn’t been easy for thoughtful science fiction and fantasy to leave a mark in recent years. Which isn’t to say that there haven’t been efforts. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was as fascinating and ambitious as it was flawed, and Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie is hopefully going to remind us why District 9 was great and why we should all try to forget about Elysium.
In the meantime, we have Ex Machina, the directorial debut of writer Alex Garland, and I’m happy to report that it’s every bit as thought-provoking and unsettling a work as you might expect from the writer of The Beach, 28 Days Later and Sunshine.
Some spoilers below, inevitably, but mostly I’m going to be ruminating on themes.