[ Movie Review ] “Transcendence” by Blade Brown
Plot- Dr. Will Caster is the the world’s most celebrated researcher in artificial intelligence, working on a self aware machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known to man with a full range of human emotions. After being fatally wounded by a organization of extremists against technology, his wife and research partner upload his subconscious into the machine with hopes of achieving the goal.
Review– Transcendence, what is more commonly known as “The Singularity” is a fascinating concept. The belief that machines will one day be smarter than their creators is something intriguing to read about. But to visualize? Not so much. Transcendence has all the ingredients for a great scientific blockbuster: A great concept. A great cast. Solid direction. But unfortunately, this movie is the first real disappointment of 2014.
While it seemed like this movie would be a return to form for Johnny Depp, his performance comes off very dry and emotionless. When he is Transcended, it works. But while he’s in human form(which is roughly 30 of the film’s 119 minutes) he feels the same way. Which is not the way you’d expect a celebrated scientist, with a good looking wife(Rebecca Hall of The Town) & on the brink of making history to act. Shouldn’t he be a little more excited? While Depp is clearly a better actor, this role seemed more fitting for Keanu Reeves than himself. Maybe the studio should’ve considered it. It would’ve saved a ton on salary alone.
Another disappointing thing about this film is the utter waste of its talented supporting cast. The film never gives you a chance to connect with the supporting cast. Which ultimately makes its seemingly rushed ending totally unbelievable. While everyone bans together to try to stop the Transcended Will from his plans, they seem to forget that he was actually assassinated. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say I was shocked to see the antagonists and the protagonists coming to an understanding so easily.
The Bottom Line– While its not necessarily a bad film, its not a good one either. With all the talent involved, I expected a lot more from this movie. This would have fared better if released as an HBO original movie instead of an IMAX release.