Dr. Will Caster is an artificial intelligence researcher who strives to create a machine that possesses sentience and collective intelligence. Extremists who oppose technological advancement target him, shooting him and other researchers with radioactively-tainted bullets so that the poisoning will kill them even if the assassination fails, but their actions drive him toward his goal. Wikipedia
Pfister, best known as Christopher Nolan's director of photography, may be drawn to a similar kind of thinking-man's blockbuster, but 'Transcendence', unlike Inception or The Dark Knight Rises, remains simplistic and predictable. The film looks good, but it's never as smart as it should be.
The film feels like Nolan lite. Which is a shame given the talent attached.
Transcendence may be intellectually half-baked but it poses some serious queries about the boons and the banes of technology.It might test your patience but if you choose to stay with the film, you will be rewarded adequately.
Transcendence ultimately hinges on the relationship of Caster and Evelyn. The excellent Hall, looking a bit confused by what she's gotten herself into, does her best to emotionally ground Pfister's increasingly unfocused and heavy-handed story.
The film is essentially a far-fetched, sometimes muddled, cautionary tale about mankind being taken over by the machines that they themselves have created, albeit with the best of intentions.
I can’t remember the last time I was so befuddled after watching a film, as I was after watching Transcendence. Sure the core idea of the film is a grand one, the story gives an impression that it has some higher purpose or a point to make but part of it gets diluted. It makes some extremely interesting points but the execution doesn’t translate them all that well, hence the bafflement, which is unfortunate because the premise had the potential to make it to the big league.
This is cinematographer Wally Pfister's maiden directorial venture which by modern criteria is a stylish off-beat humourless film with an atmosphere of a noir film.
The film is an attempt at the whole A.I. Genre. With the world of computing making immense strides, the movie tries to explore the next gen. before it gets here. The plot is alright, the pace does drag. But Rebecca Hall and Johnny Depp try their best. Rebecca Hall brings a lightness to the proceedings and Johnny Depp’s one-liners are fun. All in all, a movie to watch when you have to kill a few hours or if you want to experience a time-lock.
The film, essentially, has no body. It does, however, have a soul. And souls, we’ve come to believe, live forever. I suspect, then, that it is the sort of film that, in time, will find an audience. The audience of today though, I’m sure, is likely to reject the film.