05th Jul2018

‘Tau’ Review (Netflix Original)

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman, Fiston Barek, Ivana Zivkovic, Sharon D. Clarke, Ian Virgo, Paul Leonard Murray, Dragoljub Ljubicic, Irene Chiengue Chiendjo | Written by Noga Landau | Directed by Federico D’Alessandro


Federico D’Alessandro’s Tau is unequivocally horrific. It is utter torture to have to sit through and antagonising to even comprehend any positives within the ninety-six minute running time and even within its relatively short length, bizarrely still manages to stretch the tiresome concept of what’s a relatively bold premise of the exploration of self-aware A.I. done masterfully by Kubrick and Garland before it.

Speaking of concept, we have Julia played by Maika Monroe, trapped and tortured for scientific study by the mysterious Alex, and somewhere in the mix is A.I./slave/homemaker/therapist Tau, voiced by Gary Oldman. The character development is obsolete with what seems to be a completely unrelated opening that offers such a tragic attempt at backstory with zero interest or quality depth to subject its audience into what should be an engaging and terrifying ordeal. The exploration of what the film has to offer in terms of ideals is a pathetic attempt at creating a conversation on wider uses of A.I. that’s so laughably bad and flat, I almost wept thinking about how shallow and excruciatingly slow plot points were developing with no originality and ultimately don’t actually arrive.

The tonal shifts are also horrendous and clueless. Randomly jumping from dark gritty intentions to sweet buddy comedy in a single scene, contextually abrasive and condescending to say the least. Nothing feels real and that’s, unfortunately, one of the biggest issues, because it fails to connect to its audience with any fathomable intrigue or cohesiveness.

Monroe does her best at exploring what is essentially a mentally and physically demanding role and throughout she succeeds in conveying such a traumatic response, but the consequences contextually have no stakes as it all falls flat with very little or nothing at all to actually root for, to feel connected or engaged. Oldman and Skrein are laughably bad with the former showcasing an abysmal attempt of evolving childish charisma to maturity that unfolds so poorly with Oldman sleepwalking throughout. The latter is a ‘lite’ version of any poor Jude Law performance to date. Skrein doesn’t have any screen presence, with his character has little to no effect on both the plot and he chews up the scenery with poor dialogue delivery every time.

The ending of Tau is without a doubt a shock to the system and sheer loss of focus regarding how farcical the film just simply runs out of both ideas, steam and brain cells.

Tau is available to watch now on Netflix.


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