Transcendence review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
When a first time director transitions from a different kind of film work to commanding a whole film behind the camera there is bound to be some issues and while Transcendence has an enviable cast to fall back on its the story and the attention to a unbelievable premise that scuttles this ship before it can ever really take off and by the end you might just wonder what the hell any of it was all about.
Transcendence follows what happens when renowned computer scientist Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is shot and left for dead. To save him, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) transfers his consciousness into a computer but the new Will’s desires for more information and power causes dangerous repercussions for everyone across the world as the line between man and computer is strained to the breaking point.
Like a lot of recent films, Transcendence transcribes to the unsung heroes idea that seems to be making the rounds in films recently with the whole picture building up to a technological revolution that is more destructive than informative and while the idea of humans as the underdogs is interesting, this really does seem like a poor man’s Terminator, minus the presence of a certain burly Austrian.
All in all Wally Pfister has crafted an age old tale in a new light but all he has really done is provide the general look of a film with a paint by numbers story that never really feels like it could even conceivably be real. Depp is excellent as the AI anti-hero but he is let down by an unreliable Hall and the whole film hangs on her character leaving the film gasping for life amidst all the pretty images that Pfister is known for thanks to his days as Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer.