‘Transcendence’ ponders as it propels


Peter Mountain

From left, Morgan Freeman as Joseph Tagger, Cillian Murphy as Agent Buchanan, Johnny Depp as Will Caster, (on monitors), and Rebecca Hall as Evelyn Caster in Alcon Entertainment’s sci-fi thriller “Transcendence,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

“Transcendence” is not as transcendent as it lead to be.

On paper, “Transcendence” has many aspects to it to be an extraordinary movie, with a thought provoking storyline and a top-notch cast that includes Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, and Paul Bettany to bring the story to life. Raising expectations for this film, but sadly fell a bit short.

This film takes on the the long discussed concept of humanity vs. technology, in which it explores the fascination our society has with the idea of what could happen if we let technology get out of hand. Showing the audience the possibility of having humans and computers being much more connected than they already are.

“Transcendence” also tackled the idea of what could happen to a soul after death, with Dr. Will Caster (Depp) — a computer genius who dies shortly after being shot — and his wife (Rebecca Hall), trying to keep him alive by uploading Will’s consciousness with his own artificial intelligence program P.I.N.N, that would keep him alive but in digital form. Which leads into the plot of, is this really Dr.Caster? or is it just the program trying to gain more power?

While the concept of the film could have brought it to another level, there was too much going on that brought down the experience. Trying to integrate a tragic love story that seems to lack emotional depth that left the story a bit dull, wasting wonderful actors in small roles that made their characters seem like they were ‘just along for the ride’, and along with mixing in some action to keep the storyline lively; just made to movie fall flat.

Inspite of “Transcendence” being thought provoking and having wonderful visual effects, by the end leaves you thinking…is that it?

(Taken from April 23, 2014 issue)