For ten years, inventor David Kressen has lived in seclusion with his inventions, including Adam, a robot with incredible lifelike human qualities. When reporter Joy Andrews is given access to their unconventional facility, she is alternately repelled and attracted to the scientist and his creation. But as Adam exhibits emergent behavior of anger and jealousy towards her, she finds herself increasingly entangled in a web of deception where no one’s motives are easily decipherable.
The film UNCANNY details one week in the life of Roboticist David Kressen. It comes to us, when a reporter from a magazine called High Tech Quarterly, Joy Andrews is assigned to do a story on him, thus reporting to his lab, each day for a week. He gives her a tour of his lab, as well as his inventions, things such as the most life-like synthetic skin, titanium with the same density of human bone, and even a true to life robotic eye. However, Joy is hard pressed to find something that is worth reporting on. But of course, David saves the best for last, as he unveils his best creation yet. Something that would be considered a breakthrough in the world of Science. That is when he introduces her to Adam, his assistant programmer. On the outside, Adam would appear to be not unlike any assistant, however he is different. Adam is actually another one of his creations. In fact, he is the most human-like Artificial Intelligence robot to date. For the last 7 years, the reclusive Scientist has spent hours inside his lab perfecting Adam, and David believes that he has done just that. Joy finds the scenario interesting, and immediately gets to work, as she a former brain in the world of Robotics herself, she gets pulled closer into Kressen's world. As Joy continues to return to Kressen's lab each day, their chemistry ignites, which causes the two to get closer to one another. However, in a bizarre turn of events, Adam has also grown feelings for the reporter, and at that time, begins to display characteristics of emerging behavior. Behavior that seems to get more volatile and unorthodox by the day. Adam shows signs of jealousy, as well as a strange fascination with sex. David does not know what has come over his creation, but he shows concern. And soon, the concern would be just, when Adam's behavior reaches its peak, putting both David and Joy's life in immediate danger, as it truly is "man vs. machine".
UNCANNY, a film that was directed by Matthew Leutwyler and written Shahin Chandrasoma, is one that takes on the subject of Artificial Intelligence with both curiosity and wit. Although there have been many a blockbuster to cover the subject over the years, UNCANNY, is a film that strips the subject down to the basics. It's one that isn't much concerned about imagery, it is one that is instead, concerned about delivering its story. With an obviously lower tier budget, and a limited cast, it is a film that was pretty much tasked with delivering a good story. In order to make it all work, it had to be convincing in the story it tells. And fortunately, it is a film that has surprising depth, brought to us via some sharply clever writing. The writing here contains a lot of different elements. Elements which include; hints of comedy and wit, suspense and drama.
While I must admit that it takes a little while to truly get going, once it does, UNCANNY is a pretty fun experience. The beginnings of UNCANNY are filled with seemingly long winded scientific jargon, but what manages to keep our interest is the fact that we can always sense that something big is on the horizon. Things eventually do pick up for the film, making its last quarter truly engaging. At this point, Adam, the robot begins to act out against his creator David. He displays behavior that seems to get more erratic by the day. He begins to have feelings for the cute little reporter named Joy. This graduates to Adam strolling the Internet for pornography, but if that wasn't an eye opener, this would lead him to spy on the reporter via a hidden camera. It's a little humorous when the so called robot begins to get his robotic rocks off, while looking at porn on the Internet, but it's another thing, when he begins to spy on Joy with ill intentions as it would seem. It's at this point that the film begins to encompass a much darker vibe. But I don't think we could have imagined where UNCANNY would take us next. Personally I did not see it coming. The last act of the film goes exactly how one might expect it to, however, it ends things with a really clever plot twist, one that changes the the entire story. It is one of those types of ending that changes everything. What we thought that we were seeing is something that was completely different. UNCANNY is one film in particular that will leave you thinking, as you mentally go back and try to spot the little details that were ever so hidden from us the first time around.
The acting in UNCANNY is actually pretty solid by all. Mark Webber is great as the Scientist David Kressen, as is Lucy Griffiths, as the reporter and robotics enthusiast, who is assigned his story. Both do great in being believable, as the two create a relationship that is also likable. But personally, I feel that the true standout is Actor David Clayton Rogers, who gives a great performance as Adam. In the film, Adam is supposed to be an Artificially Intelligent robot. I like that Roger's delivery was as "human" as possible, without being "100% human". In the performance were little nuances, the little twitches that would indicate this, as well as the fact that Rogers carefully delivers his lines. A very nice performance by an Actor that I had only seen one time prior(in the film, SUBLIME).
UNCANNY is a film that gets off to a rather slow start, with no clear indication as to where things would end up. It is one of those films that just gets better as it progresses. I pretty much enjoyed what I got with it, and I have to say that the twist at the end really sealed the deal. Overall it is a solid film, that is surprisingly intelligent and witty.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
Going into UNCANNY, I didn't quite know what to expect. However, judging by the tailer, I thought it would be your average "robot turns on its creator". type of things. And while that is part of it, I didn't expect this film to go to the places it does. Chances are, just when you think you have this one figured out, you don't. That's the good thing about UNCANNY, it surprises you, especially with its conclusion. Try it, you just might enjoy this Artificial Intelligence film with a twist.
This film will be released on DVD on November 3, 2015