Transcendence had so much potential. Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, big budget sci-fi thriller commenting on the evolutionary struggle between man and machine. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, apparently.
The story is fairly simple and can pretty much be seen in the trailers. Doctor Will Caster is a brilliant scientist working to push A.I. technology drastically. When he is fatally wounded with a time clock on his life, his partner in life, Evelyn, has the brilliant idea of transplanting his consciousness into a massive super computer. From there, we have a rapidly pushed story that leads to a bunch of silly, almost cool ideas about what computers could become capable of.
Transcendence is a pompous, lifeless bore of a film that doesn’t really offer anything insightful about its subject matter because it’s so single mindedly stupid about it. All the parts about technology, philosophy and what it means to be human are all thrown to the wayside, and the movie instead grounds most of its logic on the relationship between two people like it’s the most important thing in this world. In a movie where technology is used to heal the sick, rebuild the forests and even cure death, all the movie wants us to care about are how Rebecca Hall cannot possibly go on living without her dead husband and how all that amazing wonderful miracle-making doesn’t mean anything.
There’s a lot to love about Transcendence. Unfortunately, almost all of it is killed by a very poor script. The film is so full of holes and leaps in logic that it’s hard to take any of it seriously or truly enjoy it. Character’s that should be villains turn into saviors and characters that we expect to be allies turn into pariahs. There’s no one to really root for here and the story telling seems to exist only to push certain ideas about technology and it’s capabilities.
I was very disappointed, again because this movie had so much potential. Instead of being awesome, it’s just another classic example of poor script writing and relying on big names and special effects to do the job. What’s worse, the makers of this film should have known better.