Writer: Sophia Ling
Overall: 2.5 Out of 5
Cast: 2.5 Out of 5
Plot: 2.5 Out of 5
Effects: 3.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Her”
Earlier this year we had Scarlett Johansson as Sam in "Her", and now we have Johnny Depp transcending into another level of computer intelligence. Although some might call Wally Pfister's "Transcendence" the "Him" to Spike Jonze's "Her", the former takes way more processing power to comprehend and goes much deeper than just a human-like operating system.
"Transcendence" is the story of Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), an advocate of artificial intelligence and all things technology. After an assassination attempt, he is left with a month to live and with the help of his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), decides to upload his consciousness into a computer. During this time, a bunch of anti-tech activists decide to descend upon the couple in an effort to save humanity from a software update gone wrong.
Wally Pfister makes his directorial debut with "Transcendence". He's known for his work behind the camera in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" series and "Inception". Together with first time screenwriter, Jack Paglen, the duo of newbies created a movie that is a bit hard to swallow. The plot is awfully messy, the script is a tad cheesy and the acting was just a little too lifeless.
Rebecca Hall's performance as the confused but ever supportive wife is way above average, but Johnny Depp's sleepy performance as Dr. Will Caster is far from the roles he usually plays. Perhaps this particular instance can be forgiven since he is after all playing the role of a computer programme. Perhaps the movie could have been better if Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy had more screen time.
Nonetheless, "Transcendence" can be seen as a decent effort from a first time director and screenwriter. The idea and the talent is there, but the execution and end product falls a little short. It is hard to follow suit after the likes of "Inception" and "Her" so walk into the cinema with an open mind. The less expectations you have, the better the viewing experience.
Cinema Online, 17 April 2014