The creator of an AI program gets more than he bargains for in this film that brings in something fresh to the sci-fi genre.
Gareth is a man who has been taken into an office run by the FBI as he is suspected as a child predator. Interrogated by agents Deena and Amos, he is ripped by Deena who is looking for a girl named Cherry. Cherry has no last name and it is unclear where she is from. Under constant scrutiny by Deena with Amos waiting in the background, Gareth finally reveals the truth. He knows Cherry, but she is not a real girl, but an AI program he created.
With the recent news of human trafficking all over the nation, Gareth created Cherry to help the FBI hunt down child predators. The trio decide to work together and rely on Cherry to help them with continued sting operations over the years. However, something begins to develop as time goes on. Cherry begins to somehow develop real human feelings and it begins to affect the operation for the trio. To make matters worse, the trio begin to find their once strong bond starting to weaken under various circumstances. What will happen when Cherry begins to want to become a human and how will it change the lives of Gareth, Deena, and Amos?
With his work in the theater, filmmaker Franklin Ritch makes his feature film directorial debut with a strong movie that brings something new to the AI genre. When it comes to AI going awry, one can think of films like Terminator, The Banana Splits Movie, and the recently released M3gan. However, what were to happen if a computer-generated character begins to develop actual human emotions and desire to physically become one? Ritch may have found the answer in this film.
Ritch also takes center stage as Gareth, the creator of the titular character in Cherry, played by a breakout in Tatum Matthews. As the AI program, she gives stats and proves her to be a vital asset to the sting operations involving child predators and human trafficking. However, what’s great is we see a change in Cherry as the film progresses and it is inexplicable as she develops human feelings. As for Gareth, even he finds himself confused as he created the program.
Sinda Nichols and David Girard are excellent in their roles of FBI agents Deena and Amos. When we are introduced to them, Nichols’ Deena goes all bad cop and is scary at times when it comes to the interrogation and Amos is the good cop who stays quiet. However, taking the Richard Linklater Boyhood approach, we see the agents even go through changes within themselves that make them turn a 180 and to top it all off, the third act features the iconic Lance Henriksen replacing Ritch as an elderly Gareth in an amazing performance with Matthews.
The Artifice Girl is an AI film that brings something fresh and doesn’t rely on kills or machinery gone wrong. Well, it does, but not what you expect. Tatum Matthews breaks out in the titular role and the rest of the cast is simply amazing in this! Highly recommended.
WFG RATING: A+
XYZ Films presents a Paper Street Pictures production in association with Blood Oath and Last Resort Ideas. Director: Franklin Ritch. Producers: Aaron B. Koontz and Ashleigh Snead. Writer: Franklin Ritch. Cinematography: Britt McTammany. Editing: Franklin Ritch.
Cast: Tatum Matthews, Franklin Ritch, Sinda Nichols, David Girard, Lance Henriksen.
The film will be released in theaters, On Demand, and Digital on April 27.