Tau (2018)

  • Gist: Streetwise tough girl kidnapped by rich smart mean dude for his AI experiments, has to befriend dude’s household security AI, name Tau, for a chance at escape.
  • Premise Quality: Decent advance in the classic What-is-a-Person tale draped in a nerd captivity fantasy.
  • Execution: Lacks imagination. I don’t insist on “originality,” whatever that is, but this genre has been done so well so often it really needs to avoid cliche.
  • Setup: I gave this one 20 minutes to hook me, and it did. Another 20 minutes and it was losing me.
  • Acting: I finished it because Gary Oldman phones in a warm turn as the AI Tau and his dialog with Maika Monroe’s character Julia is the well-written backbone through a ribcage of cliches.
  • Loose plot threads: Several, including the reason all this happens. I expect the final edit cut out some interesting things for the sake of mass appeal, which fails.
  • Inaccuracy: No rich smart mean dude will ever give his household AI an old man’s voice. I can grant everything about localized gas explosions and bending metal arms, but not that.

Conclusion: If you like Oldman or Monroe, really like scifi movies, or have nothing better to do Thursday night, try it. Available on Netflix. *Do NOT confuse this with Going Tau!!