Devs, the science-fiction drama that is now streaming on Hulu, is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Written and directed by Alex Garland, the mastermind behind the sci-fi films Ex Machina and Annihilation, Devs follows computer programmer Lilly Chan — played by frequent Garland muse, Sonoya Mizuno — as she unravels the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend. At the center of the mystery is the inscrutable tech genius, Forest (Nick Offerman), who employs them both at his sprawling Amaya corporate campus somewhere in Silicon Valley.
Leaving the theater for Crazy Rich Asians, I couldn’t help but feel like all the articles and podcasts and panel discussions had somehow culminated in this one movie. I feel like I’ve been screaming from the rooftops for something just like this. Why did it have to take 25 years for this kind of major studio-backed all-Asian movie? In absolute truth, it’s not just good for an “Asian” film. It’s just plain good. And it is exactly what we needed.
I saw Ex-Machina a few months ago at a special pre-screening here in Los Angeles. Now that it’s out on video, I’m going to jump right in and address some points critics have made against how women — specifically women of color — are treated in the film. I disagree with many of these views and this is why.
Also, SPOILERS — and expletives — ahead. Consider yourself warned.