Transcendence (2014) / drama, sci-fi, mystery
Directed by Wally Pfister (directorial debut)
Written by Jack Paglen
Produced by Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosorve, Kate Cohen, Marisa Polvino, Annie Marter, David Valdes and Aaron Ryder
Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, Clifton Collins, Jr., Cory Hardrict, Josh Stewart
I wish the execution was as great as the concept!
Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is a scientist motivated by curiosity about the nature of the universe. Being part of a team working to create a sentient computer, he predicts that such a computer will create a technological singularity, or in his words Transcendence. His wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), whom he loves deeply, supports his efforts while his best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) is more sceptical about Will's discoveries. However, the extremist group "Revolutionary Independence From Technology" (R.I.F.T.) shoots Will with an irradiated bullet and carry out a series of synchronised attacks on his artificial-intelligence computer laboratories. Will is given no more than a month to live but he might just find a way to stay 'alive'.
The story seems fresh and exciting on paper and the beginning has a huge potential. It looked ambitious with thought-provoking themes. Unfortunately half way through the movie just doesn't hold. My biggest issue is the unevenly paced script, lack of characters development and underdeveloped side plots. On the positive side, the movie is visually attractive, futuristic, stylish and watchable. Directing and performances are solid (most noticeable was Rebecca), the storyline and the concept are still interesting enough and they keep you thinking. I also like that there is no good and bad pointing fingers and the ending is nice. The film is far from excellent but it's also not terrible! Critics and people more reputable than me really lashed into this one. It deserves more credit than the immense crap it got. 3/5