You could be forgiven for mistaking it as a Terminator or Matrix prequel, what with an antagonistic omnipresent AI and brains getting uploaded into computers, but Wally Pfister’s directorial debut is a bit more complex than the usual “evil robot” affair. See, throughout most of history scientists and their creations have been seen apprehensively in fiction, be it books or films. This is because most “creative” writers are lazy hacks who sucked at maths in school and harbored resentment towards “freaks” who were good at it. But the premise for Transcendence isn’t just “Ooooo science is evil..”, it’s threat seems legitimate. Think about it: what if the entire internet is uploaded into your brain, which is plugged in with a computer, inheriting its efficiency and storage capacity? That’s, kind of, what’s going on with the movie.
Johnny Depp is a hotshot scientist who is trying to create a new revolutionary form of Artifical Intelligence, that combines the power and accuracy of a computer with the ingenuity of a human brain. So, Braniac, basically. It’s not exactly the most original idea, but there haven’t been many movies that have dealt it with as seriously as this film is trying to. Robots and AIs will never be evil on their own, but the moment you add humanity into them, supervillainy is inevitable. Because, you see, we are the monsters!
The other interesting idea in the film is the existence of anti-technology terrorists. I’m guessing they’re those anti-vaccine, anti-genetic modification types taken to their extreme. These terrorists don’t want Depp to succeed, so they try to assassinate him, with a gun, because guns grow on trees.
Rebecca Hall plays Depp’s wife, who, upon realizing her husband’s critical health condition, tries to upload him into a computer. She doesn’t think it worked, until suddenly:
The trailer then stops feeding us the plot, and instead we get some weird CGI shots. Needless to say, things don’t turn to be as they’re expected because that’s what happens when arrogant scientists try to play God. How will they stop Depp, with his quest for power ever-growing? Find Tim Burton, of course.
Transcendence is directed by Wally Pfister, who previously worked as the cinematographer for all of Christopher Nolan’s movies, and won an Oscar for Inception. He won’t be working on Interstellar. Depp and co will be transcending into your theaters on April 18, 2014. The supporting cast includes: Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Cillian Murphy.