Hollywood has scene a drought in the science-fiction department. Those that do wave the flag have been remakes more often than not. With it’s original plots and high profile cast, “Transcendence” is one of the first original sparks to offer sci-fi fans what they are looking for, but it fails to light a fire.
John Depp helms the story of a group of programmers in the middle of one of the most significant breakthroughs in the field of artificial intelligence. Of course, their vision is not as clear for everyone. A radical anti-technology group tries to assassinate programmer Dr. Will Caster. (Depp). Caster survives the attack, however, he was struck by a radioactive bullet and is dying. Caster’s friends make the decision to save him, or at least his mind by uploading Caster’s consciousness into a supercomputer and then onto the internet. Cardigan wearing Morgan Freeman plays Joseph Tagger, a former colleague of Caster who the radicals want to recruit. Morgan’s acting chops are largely wasted in this film, as he doesn’t have much to do because his character is underwritten.
“Transcendence” has the lingo, the technology and the outrageous aspiration that feels like the crazy image of the future they’ve created is possible, it just doesn’t back it up enough to put hammer the entire nail.
There’s only so much makeup you can put on a film before it wears off and you can see it for what it really is. The paper-thin layer “Transcendence” presents is easily disabled and the movie suffers a few stale periods.
Visually the movie is great, and the cast can only do so much until the shrill story attempts to carry them through the end. The story isn’t dense enough to require as long of a time as it does. The characters and plot are explained in the first quarter of the film and up until the end, it’s aching wait. Thankfully the imagination of the film helps ease the flatness.
“Transcendence” has a lot of ambition, it just doesn’t have the right tools to follow through with its vision.
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