The marketing team for Alex Garland’s new sci-fi film Ex Machina pulled off a pretty ingenious campaign at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, over the past weekend. Users of the dating app Tinder found a match in the profile of an attractive young lady called Ava, who asked them questions like “Have you ever been in love?” and “What makes you human?” Unsurprisingly, quite a few of her suitors found themselves falling for the lovely Ava.
The twist, of course, is that the pictures of their dream girlfriend were actually pictures of actress Alicia Vikander. Vikander plays Ava, the highly advanced android that Ex Machina protagonist Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) meets at a remote research facility run by a billionaire programmer. Which is to say, the pretty girl that Tinder guys thought they were connecting with was actually nothing more than a bot designed to lure them in before hitting them with a link for the movie’s official site.
It’s hard for a traditional trailer to top that kind of headline-making viral marketing. Nonetheless, the latest full-length trailer for Ex Machina has just landing and is worth a watch for anyone who’s still undecided about whether to see the movie when it releases next month. The story revolves around a main cast of three characters: Ava, Caleb, and Ava’s creator Nathan (Oscar Isaac): a reclusive genius who uses Caleb to test the faux-humanity of the AI that Nathan has created.
Ex Machina was released in the UK a few months ago and gathered a wealth of positive reviews from critics, currently holding a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 77% on Metacritic. Following the film’s screening at SXSW the first reviews from U.S. critics have begun to emerge, with Badass Digest praising it as “the sort of science fiction film we all crave” and Screen Crush claiming that it renders Neill Blomkamp’s recent robot movie Chappie “instantly obsolete.”
Ex Machina is Garland’s directorial debut, but his novel “The Beach” was adapted for the screen by Danny Boyle in 2000. Garland has since then written the screenplays for a number of films, including Dredd and Never Let Me Go. By all accounts Ex Machina is a strong start to Garland’s directing career, and it will be interesting to see what he moves on to from this.
As for the film’s cast: Vikander will be costarring in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. this summer, while Gleeson and Isaac will share the screen in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens this December. So, already, their future’s looking quite bright.
Check out the latest trailer for Ex Machina and let us know in the comments if the rave reviews have convinced you to see this sci-fi thriller.
Ex Machina arrives in U.S. theaters on April 10th, 2015.