Film Review – Transcendence
Transcendence is about Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), who is a successful researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence. He is working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His work has created quite a buzz, making him the target of anti-technology extremists, who do not want him to succeed.
Their attempt to destroy him, only triggers his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both researchers themselves, to upload Will’s series of thoughts, memories and all his brain activity as a programme, so that he is able still to communicate through the machine even though his body may die. The two renegade scientists see this as a sort of a way of keeping him mentally alive without his body. The main challenge of their actions is not whether they are able to it but whether they should do it or not.
It is such a shame that this movie barely made US$ 4 million profit at the box office. Perhaps the trailers did not do a good job of spreading the word, because this is one movie I honestly enjoyed watching. I loved the storyline, what a genius idea it is to have romance with science, brilliant.
All Will wanted to do was make his wife’s dream come true. She wanted a better world and he was able to achieve it through technology then she became terrified of how much power he had and what he could do through his technology.
This was the point where I began to think of what unbelievable future potential may exist for us, and if we as people, are ready for it. I am pro-technology but this movie really put it in such a clear perspective for me and that was outstanding. This movie had me thinking why not? I mean technology is here to help and take us to the next level so why not give it a chance?
As a fan of Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean, and Charlie and the Chocolate factory, I have to say that this man only gets better and better as his career unfolds. His supporting characters also complemented him quite well, especially his wife Evelyn, played by Rebecca Hall.
I think the writer did a good job of the screenplay and the play was well directed. Wally Pfister may not have much experience as a director but he pulled this movie off quite well as his directorial debut. Admittedly, I had expected more because of his previous work in cinematography with Christopher Nolan when they worked on Inception which is a remarkably timeless movie in my opinion. In fairness, Pfister could have done more with the script.
I believe that humans are capable of so much more. Just like in this movie, we talk, we dream but in many cases the success we accomplish and the life we imagined, are so different that we may be put off by it. Nonetheless, I am excited to imagine that such technology may possibly exist one day in the future. For all we know, a decades from now, an application of nano-particles could be a reality.
It is disappointing to realize that such a well thought-out movie and script that took US$100 million to make would only fetch US$103 million at the box office while a movie like Paranormal Activity that took a US$15 000 budget would make US$193 million at the box office. I feel Transcendence deserves more credit than it got.
This movie is for those who believe in technology and its endless possibilities, it really opens up your mind to realize what humans are capable of. In fact everyone should see it.