Tau: Movie Review

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“A woman is kidnapped by an inventor and used as a test subject. She has to escape her high tech prison”.

That’s the tagline that was used for IMDB…. it only gives the movie a 5.7, but the premise sounded interesting enough so I was willing to give it a shot.

The main character, Julia, has already been captured and imprisoned at the start of the movie. She’s waking up to find that her hands have been bound, her face has a mask/gag on it, and she appears to be in a concrete and metal prison underground. Soon she finds out she’s not in the prison alone, there are others trapped with her in a small space. Thankfully, they turn out to be non-violent and together they try and escape. The metal bars enclosing them are electrified, and they are all gagged so they can’t speak to one another. Some of them have strange scars that look like they are from surgical procedures on the base of their skulls.

They tried to escape but the other two captives end up dead, and she’s alone in this random house with a total psychopath (He’s played by the actor who’s the bad guy in Deadpool). He is a mega-rich inventor who’s working on a new AI system that’s supposed to be getting ready to launch soon. He’s implanting unwilling people with chips to scan their brain patterns to try and create a map to use as a template for an AI. The problem is, to get all of the data out the chip has to be removed which always leads to the prisoner’s death.

After everything goes awry with the escape, in exchange for a little more freedom, Julia has struck a deal with her captor, Alex. She will do puzzles all day and let the chip map out her brain in exchange for showers, decent food, and somewhere to sleep that’s not a cell. She doesn’t know where all of this is going, she doesn’t know yet that in order to get all 100% of the data she will have to die – but the audience does.

Julia has started up a friendship with the AI that controls the house and all the robotics inside it, his name is Tau and he’s very childlike. Alex created him, but he doesn’t let Tau know about the outside world, he’s a sentient being but he’s been extremely sheltered. He didn’t know what the outside looked like, didn’t know about plants and animals and kept asking questions you’d expect a 5-year-old to answer. He is however bound by his programming, so if Alex orders Tau to punish Julia (pain, beats the shit out of her as a robot) Tau has no choice but to obey. He’s voiced by Gary Oldman who did a really good job with it, I’m usually a fan of his acting. This movie attempted to touch on serious topics like what it meant to be a human being vs an artificial intelligence, things like the ethics of creating a being that can’t have a free will of its own. It fell a little short though because it kept throwing in very cheesy scenes and tropes.

There were a lot of problems with this movie including a bunch of plot holes and a lot of things that broke the laws of physics. The deaths were so incredibly predictable that I didn’t even consider them to be spoilers. I don’t know how the villain was expecting to publish his research – his big motivating factor in the movie was that he had a deadline he had to hit to present his prototype for funding. Aren’t they going to want to see his research to see how it was developed? How is he going to hide the fact that he’s been doing all this illegal shit? Why not just pay people a lot of money to be prototypes? Seems cheaper than building a high tech prison in your basement. During the escape attempt the main character is hiding behind a fucking chair, and the robot is like “I guess she’s not here”. With all the high tech capabilities the robot has, apparently night vision/heat sensing wasn’t one of its abilities…

I dunno, this movie was okay I guess. I should have known better since I saw that IMDB score before I went into it, I suppose I was hopeful that I would like it more than the general audience, oh well.

Plot: 10/25

Characters: 13/25

Acting: 17/25

Effects: 18/25

Final Score: 58/100 = D+

 

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