Netflix (transfer) review: THE MACHINE (2014)

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These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

I didn’t think this movie would be good, but if anyone is a fan of the TV show ARROW, then you might find familiarity with the name Caity Lotz, who played Sara Lance/the first Black Canary. She was co-starring in this movie and I was curious to see how she was as a leading lady. And I had some time to kill and didn’t feel like spending money on a movie. Anywho, let’s dive in.

Starring: Caity Lotz (LEGENDS OF TOMORROW [2013 – ongoing]), Toby Stephens (13 HOURS [2016]), and Denis Lawson (Star Wars NEW HOPE [1977], EMPIRE [1980], and JEDI [1983])

Director/Writer: Caradog W. James (stuff I’ve never heard of)
Composer: Tom Raybould (stuff I’ve never heard of)
Cinematographer: Nicholai Brüel (stuff I’ve never heard of)
Editor: Matt Platts-Mills (stuff I’ve never heard of)

This is my honest opinion of: THE MACHINE (2014)


A young but brilliant computer programmer named Ava (Caity Lotz) demonstrates her artificial intelligence to an equally genius man named Vincent (Toby Stephens), who works for a secret organization that specializes in cybernetics that bring back the dead, but his goal is to create an A.I. with a it’s own body. Vincent is impressed with her A.I. creation and offers her a job with the organization. She is brought in, but she and Vincent are attacked by Chinese agents of the organization. Vincent didn’t get a good look at the assailants, but Ava is murdered. However, Vincent manages to get a prototype of his full-bodied A.I. up and running in Ava’s likeness, controlled by her program. But as the tests continue to see what this new machine is capable of, and learns what it means to be human and agendas clash, resulting in deadly consequences.


Ew… this was not a good movie.

Let’s start from the beginning. The atmospheric set-up was actually pretty good. We’re given a glimpse into what this organization does, which is bring back dead soldiers using cybernetics, be it limbs, or even the head if the brain is mostly intact. The tech isn’t stable and people get killed as a result. That’s the idea put forth, which isn’t so bad. But you didn’t sit through the god-awfully painful dialog. Holy mother of God, two minutes into this movie and it’s the most confused and unintelligible lines you will ever hear in a movie. For those of you who thought THE MATRIX had pretentious dialog, you can at least listen and know what they said, albeit taking them a long time to make their freakin’ point. In this movie? You can’t understand a damn word. It’s like the dialog is trying to be mysterious and cryptic, but it’s atrociously annoying and doesn’t go anywhere.

That doesn’t improve in the next few scenes where the character Vincent starts blabbing the same weird dialog to a bunch of wannabe A.I. computers. Plus, like the actors in the opening scene, he is taking the shit he’s saying SO FUCKING SERIOUSLY. I like to believe that when actors take a script in hand and read the very lines they have to speak, they know when a bad line is a bad line, but are paid to say it anyway, regardless of lack of desire. I’m banking on that being why anyone said “yes” to this script.

And it never really gets any better. The character Ava is built up to be the main character, but she’s axed off almost a third of the way into the movie. Um… what? From this point on, Lotz’s performance ranges from laughably awkward to painfully horrible. There’s a scene where the man who killed Ava is brought before Lotz’s character and is told to kill him. She doesn’t want to, but rather thinks that he can be stopped by, get this, shouting at him. She goes right up the dude and screeches something awful.

Honestly, I can go on and fucking on about how bad this movie is, but I’m getting exhausted just from thinking about all the subject matter I haven’t tackled yet. Characters built up to have a big purpose that goes nowhere, an awkward as fuck romance between the new Ava and Vincent, a rushed ending that makes very little sense, all of the fucking Terminator rip-offs, GOD DAMN IT I’m getting a headache.

I won’t lie, this movie does show that Lotz HAS range, but this script was not the way to showcase that. I honestly hope this stays under the radar of anyone that hires her in the future because if ARROW and the future TV show LEGENDS OF TOMORROW has proven anything is that she can hold a performance and be a bad-ass, something this movie wasn’t going to prove to anyone.

My honest rating for THE MACHINE (2014): 1/5


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