|Credit: Warner Bros., Alcon Entertainment, DMG Entertainment,|
Syncopy, Straight Up Films.
Johnny Depp comes back from his last heavily criticised film, The Lone Ranger, with a Terminator-ish sci-fi story exploring the repercussions of humanity's next inevitable step up on the evolution ladder: man versus machine. However, Transcendence lacks those skin-less cyborgs and explosive car chases we love in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator movies.
Did Transcendence portray humanity's dependence on technology well? Is the creation of artificial intelligence something you'll look forward to after you've watched the movie?
Here is what film critics say about Transcendence...
Too often, though, the movie doesn't feel ambiguous or complicated, merely muddled and wishy-washy. It doesn't want to make Will [Johnny Depp], or Will 2.0, into a flat-out bad guy, a threat that has to be neutralized, and it doesn't want to scapegoat Evelyn [Rebecca Hall], either, even though it she's responsible for the digital re-creation of Will and seems to have a touch of Dr. Frankenstein herself.
- Read more at Roger Ebert
Transcendence is confused, playing as a story about loss one moment, a technological cautionary tale the next, and a thundering action ride 20 minutes later. Mixing tones like that isn’t impossible — [Christopher] Nolan’s films are master classes in the balancing act — but it does require a singular vision to bring all the disparate pieces together. Transcendence never approaches that kind of cohesion, with characters and plotlines vanishing and then resurfacing almost at will. There are so many jarring jumps and missing beats that one wonders if the film hasn’t undergone some heavy re-tinkering on its way to theaters, particularly as the action elements are haphazardly shoved to the forefront.
- Read more at The Verge
Transcendence centers on the intersection between man and machine. It forecasts a future where our digital devices can operate from thinking, feeling actualization. And yet, the film does little in the way of provoking any such thoughts or feelings, thanks to a thin script, thin characters, and a mega-star who simply doesn’t show up. Based on the shallow story, performances, and deadly serious tone, Transcendence answers its own fundamental question: it is not self-aware, and it is not worth your time.
- Read more at Digital Trends
The movie begins with a flash-forward that takes away much of the suspense, and that's the kind of move you can only pull off if you've got another, better card to play. But by the time “Transcendence” wraps up, the movie has clearly chickened out of grappling with any of its deeper issues and instead provides a cowardly quick fix.
- Read more at The Wrap
And in case you missed it, here is the trailer for Transcendence...
Dr. Will Caster is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed - to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn and best friend Max Waters, both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can - but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.
Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr.