Writer: Noga Landau (Screenplay)
Starring: Maika Monroe, Ed Skrein, Gary Oldman
Plot: A woman is held captive in a futuristic smart house and hopes to escape by breaking into the computer programs that control the house.
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Interesting Idea, Just Misses
Story: Tau starts when young thief Julia (Monroe) is captured and locked up in a mysterious house with a beacon like object placed in her neck. The house is owned by Alex (Skrein) who has been working on learning the brain patterns and with his other two subjects he believes he can change the planet.
After trying to escape from the cell, Julia ends up getting the rest of the subjects kill, forcing her to complete the tasks alone, as she spends the time interacting with the computer controlling the house Tau (Voiced by Oldman), with a time limit in place, can Julia trust Alex to get out of the house alive.
Thoughts on Tau
Characters – Julia is the streetwise thief, she works alone against the wishes of her handler, she gets captured and forced into an experimental program which using her skills, she tries to escape from the house which fails only leading her to need to complete the tasks which measure her brain activities as she continues to worry about her life once the tasks have been completed. Alex is the genius that owns the house, he has been trying to make a major break through in his field of brain activity and is now dealing with the pressure thrown on him by his company. Tau is the computer system that controls the home, it is forced to keep the place clean and makes sure the subjects remain in certain location. It starts to befriend Julia as part of her ideas on how to escape from the home as we learn that it is just as much of a prisoner as Julia.
Performances – Maika Monroe is strong in this film, she appears in every scene and you can see how she is calculating her next move in each scene. Ed Skrein is good as we see him keep his character feel withdrawn from Julia through the film, he shows the arrogance needed too for a genius that believe he is bigger than the world. Gary Oldman’s voice work is good addition because he is such a well-spoken man, which works for the Tau computer character.
Story – The story follows a young woman that is abducted and forced into an experiment which located in an advanced computer run house and we follow her attempts to escape. We do get into a relationship between a learning artificial intelligence and the woman that tried to help him which goes on longer than it needs to, we don’t seem to get enough of a focus on just what the experiment and tasks is trying to achieve which will leave things feeling empty by the end of the film. The story does have original concepts, but soon falls into the old we have seen this before problems.
Sci-Fi – The film does use the sci-fi well because we get the artificial intelligence discussing situations with Julia in a futuristic world.
Settings – The film is set inside the house for the whole time, which keeps Julia’s mind ticking as she plans for her escape from the evil genius.
Special Effects – The effects are a mixed bag because certain moments do come off strong but then others look very weak.
Final Thoughts – This is a sci-fi film that does have wonderfully potential, only it does end up falling short of the potential.
Overall: Sci-fi that misses the marks.