When it comes to cerebral Science Fiction in film it is always hard to appeal to a mass audience. Alex Garland did a great job with his last feature, Ex Machina, (Also starring Oscar Isaac) where he took on the concept of what is humanity, and what is it to be human? This film focuses on humanity is well but in a different context. This film poses some great questions and never talks down to its audience. You as the audience member have to fill in some of the gaps and by asking those questions and have those discussions with others you are able to see so much more this film contextually brings.
The cast is talented across the board with Natalie Portman leading the film and actresses including Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tuva Novotny. All of them bring their own dynamic female characters that don’t feel like stereotypes nor is it made a big deal of for them to be an all female membered team in the film. Each of them get to stretch with their work here and bring some great tension in how they bounce off each other in each scene.
It’s not destroying… It’s making something new.
Of course we have to talk about the Netflix issue when it comes to this film. Though this film is getting a theatrical release in the United State and China, it is being shipped to Netflix International in fear of the audience being afraid of not supporting a high concept science fiction film that doesn’t have as much action as most blockbusters. I am on the side of Alex Garland who refused to change his film to appeal to a mass audience. I feel there is so much more to discuss with the film than it being just another generic blockbuster. He had a message he wanted to put out with this film and how it was going to be made, he stuck to the plan and delivered.
I would say this film deserves to be seen on screen with its great visual effects and subtly with its storytelling. There are so many little things you can pick up that are happening in each scene. I would say this film isn’t for everyone and it will leave you with a reaction and that is a good thing whether good or bad. But not all science fiction needs to be either spoon fed or commercialized.