Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara
Directed by: Wally Pfister
Synopsis: A scientist’s drive for artificial intelligence, takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into one such program.
I went into this with a slight trepidation, as it has summarily been panned by a lot of people. Maybe because of this and my complete lack of expectation, I actually kind of enjoyed it. Sure it wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was an enjoyable enough yarn.
The big thing about the film is that it is directed by famed cinematographer Wally Pfister, so beloved by Christopher Nolan on the Dark Knight trilogy. He does a full on Nolan impression with Transcendence, without ever reaching the heights of, say, Inception.
The main problem I think with the film is that it’s over long, over serious and, in places a tad slow and, dare I say, dull. Now, you might be saying “hang on, you said you liked it”! Well, I did quite like it, but I can certainly see it’s faults. Johnny Depp is mostly used as a face on a computer monitor which seems to be a bit of a waste of his talents, but I guess his is a major part of the story, and he is the major star. The rest of the cast, Bettany in particular, do a capable job. Freeman all but reprises his role in Nolan’s Batman movies.
I liked how Depp’s character, once becoming a powerful computer, became increasingly focused on making the world a better place, whilst actually making it far more scary because of the fact he has no human emotions. I thought the moments of action were done well, and the CGI and effects all looked pretty good.
A lot of people found Transcendence boring, and I can’t argue that it is probably over long and a bit too serious for it’s own good, but overall I found it a fairly enjoyable and thought provoking movie, and possibly one that, if you can sit through it again, might get better with repeat viewings.