Tau is a new Netflix sci-fi thriller, which is an entirely different movie than what the trailer indicated. Does this mean it’s bad? No. But you really should set your expectations accordingly!
Instead, Tau is much more of a drama for much of its runtime. I really enjoyed this fact. Also, I have to admit that it did take me a while to accept that I was watching a very different movie than expected.
You can watch the trailer for Tau (2018) right here or continue reading our review below.
The horror of Tau
While Tau is definitely a sci-fi thriller, the basic storyline is full of horror. A modern day mad scientist is using human guinea pigs to build his AI. However, this isn’t really the story of the movie.
It’s actually a much more philosopical take on what makes a person. Is an AI a person with feelings and life? Or is it still simply code. After all, both human beings and AIs are created by a human and has been “given life” by one. So far anyway.
Don’t worry though. It’s not like the “philosophical” elements take away from the fact that this is very much a survival movie. I mean, Maika Monroe’s character (Julia) still needs to get out of the house to survive.
Maika Monroe as a modern final girl
You’ll probably recognize the star of Tau from the immensely popular horror movie It Follows. She also played the lead role in that particular film.
In my opinion, Maika Monroe can easily carry these movies. This is probably why it feels like she’s already a modern day final girl. She has heart, brains, and guts enough to get out of most situations.
Working across from her is Ed Skrein of Deadpool villain fame. Once again, he is the villain of the story, but a very different kind. What isn’t different is the fact that he doesn’t have to speak in order to show his utter disdain for the situation he’s in. Just to be clear, I do love this about him.
Finally, there’s “Tau” which (or “who”, if you will) is voiced by Gary Oldman. Yes, the most recent recipient of an Academy Award is voicing an AI and – of course – he’s brilliant. Before Tau is over, the AI is very much a person to me.
A very captivating debut
Tau marks the feature film directing debut for director Federico D’Alessandro.
However, Federico D’Alessandro has worked on movies for quite some time. Most notably, he’s worked as storyboard artist on movies such as Captain America: The First Avenger and I Am Legend.
Maybe it’s his past as a storyboard artist that helped this debut work so well. Nothing really seems out of place and the storytelling is surprisingly tight.
I love the fact that Netflix releases these sci-fi thrillers. Sure, it’s not like everything has been a success – Bright and Mute are two examples of Netflix productions in this genre that just did not work. Check out our review of Bright right here and the review for Mute is here.
This time around, I feel like Netflix is on to something much better. If you just manage your expectations to match something more along the lines of a sci-fi noir film, then you should be well entertained.
Tau is available to watch on Netflix worldwide now!
Director: Federico D’Alessandro
Writer: Noga Landau
Cast: Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman
Kidnapped by an inventor who uses her as a test subject to perfect his robotic AI, a street-smart young woman tries to escape her high-tech prison.