‘Transcendence’: The dark side of ‘Her’
Starring Johnny Depp in a role made famous by Scarlett Johansson, Transcendence is one of the worst films of the year. With numerous flaws, let’s start at the beginning to find the first.
This film starts with the end first. It reveals everything that the events it will next explore are leading up to. This type of beginning rarely works in good films. For Transcendence, not only does it fail, it contributes to the overall failure of the film. In order to care what happens to characters, there has to be something at stake. When the audience knows the outcome from the beginning, there are no stakes.
The film is about smart people, and not the smart people that are found in high school or even college classes, but the smartest people in the world, who specialize in subjects normal people have a tenuous grasp on at best. Sherlock has Dr. Watson because otherwise no one could relate to the over-observant, obsessive intellectual. There is no Watson. There is no everyperson that the average movie goer can relate to. There are just smart people doing dumb things.
If the relationship between the Will Caster and Evelyn Caster were believable, maybe there would have been something to care about, but the relationship seems as cold as the computer bits responsible for much of this film’s plot.
These are the smartest people in the world and yet the make flawed logic leaps. “They talk about saving humanity but they have no problem killing someone.” That is not counterintuitive. People often use the logic of the “Greater Good” to justifying killing some people to save the rest. In fact, it is often used to justify all sorts of evil from pollution to oil spills to war.
So the group that kills all of those people including Depp’s character, Will Caster, beats up Caster’s best friend, kidnaps him, sticks him in a cage and threatens to take down the electronic infrastructure of the world. Caster’s friend joins them – Stockholm Syndrome much?
Transcendence could have been good if it had a message and had a less unambiguous ending. There are some truly terrifying ideas presented BORINGLY. It is possible that this film was the first attempt of some A.I. somewhere to gain a modicum of acceptance. And IMAX? What? For those who insist on torturing themselves with this poorly conceived and poorly executed film save some money – do not see it in IMAX.
See Romney's Review of Transcendence on Movie Pilot