Noob Reviews: TAU
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is TAU?
TAU is a 2018 Netflix original film that sees a street-savvy pickpocket by the name of Julia, abducted from her home and thrust unwillingly into the experiments of an eccentric CEO named Alex. Who wishes to subject her and several others to a series of tests to help him improve the stability of a groundbreaking new AI with human-like cognitive functions and problem-solving skills.
However, after Julia (also known as Subject Three) leads a failed escape attempt and Subjects One and Two are killed - she is forced to work directly with TAU, the AI the experiments are designed to improve. And an AI who has been cut off from all outside information sources. His entire world and everything he has ever known contained within Alex’s home and lab as a servant.
TAU’s modus operandi is a simple one, to get results and have Julia complete all the tasks Alex sets for her daily, by any means possible.
What type of genre is the film?
TAU is classed primarily as a thriller, but also fits nicely into the sub-genres of sci-fi thriller and psychological thriller too.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Netflix’s YouTube channel -
Alternatively, you can find the film’s listing on Netflix here.
When was TAU released?
TAU was released in June 2018.
How long is the film?
The film is ninety-seven minutes long.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of TAU?
TAU, not to be confused with the T’au from Warhammer 40,000 is an interesting twist on the human versus machine storyline we have seen many times before, that does not fail to keep you engaged and interested. Although the story is relatively weak in places, the way it is delivered and handled is definitely worth a head nod. With Gary Oldman’s work as the voice of TAU doing a fantastic job of bringing the digitally confined AI to life and fleshing TAU out as a character whose fate you may actually come to care about.
It’s hard to say which films I could compare TAU to - to give you an idea of what it is like, but it definitely vibes with the themes of Panic Room and Exam, with a few elements of Saw thrown in. Such as the creative and calculated schemes, extremes of reward versus punishment. And although portrayed as the villains of the piece, the ‘human’ elements behind TAU and Alex. With TAU especially becoming more and more convinced throughout the film, with Julia drip-feeding him select information, that he too is human (as opposed to an AI) and can be more than a servant if he just chooses to believe in himself.
As mentioned above the acting, for the most part, is really good with a minimal cast, for roughly ninety per cent of the film you will only ever have Alex, Julia and TAU on screen. With the only other actors appearing at the start of the film - and to be honest, these scenes could have been cut. Although they serve to show Julia as the streetwise pickpocket, there is a scene where she is pickpocketing a mark in a nightclub that is cringe-worthy. And her interaction with Queenpin, the lady who purchases her stolen goods, is too short to offer any meaningful content. Blink and you miss it.
Overall not the most original of stories, but it has enough twists to keep you guessing and trying to work out how the plot is going to unfold in the next scene. Personally, I found the film to have a high entertainment value and many likeable characters, and in all honesty, it is something I would recommend to people to give a watch. Although there have been many mediocre and negative reviews about TAU, it is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of thrillers and judging for yourself.
What rating would you give TAU?
I would rate TAU as a 3.8 out of 5 bananas.
An interesting thriller whose characters can captivate the imagination and keep you hooked, wanting to find out what awaits not only the test subjects but Alex and Tau too. There is room for improvement, but TAU is definitely one of the better Netflix original films in my opinion and is quite an easy ninety-odd minute investment of time, you will hopefully not regret.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in TAU and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can check it out on Netflix here.