Review: Antiquated theme fails to inspire new film
The theory of machines becoming too powerful and taking over the world has been a theory since The Terminator and The Matrix, and Transcendence is nothing different.
The idea behind Transcendence is that a human being could be able to upload his consciousness to a computer hard drive, making a computer self-aware. Originally, I thought that the idea was quite fascinating; however, the movie itself is poorly executed.
Transcendence is the first film for director Wally Pfister, but Pfister has been the cinematographer for every feature film done by Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight). Pfister did a good job directing his first film; however the blame for its inadequacy can be placed solely on the actors.
Johnny Depp (Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, Edward Scissorhands) plays Dr. Will Castor, a terminally ill scientist who uploads, or “transcends,” himself to avoid death. Depp’s performance lacked basic human emotion. I could understand his lack of emotion when he was basically a computer, but even when he was a functioning human being, his performance was quite dry.
Other poor performances include that of Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Inception) and Morgan Freeman (Shawshank Redemption, Se7en). Looking back at the movie, I have concluded their roles have no real purpose and they both did this film as a favor, since both of these actors have collaborated with Pfister on multiple Christopher Nolan films in the past.
Some of the actors did a phenomenal job with their respective characters, especially Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, Iron Man). Bettany plays Dr. Max Waters, Dr. Castor’s best friend and long time colleague. Bettany’s character is the voice of reason throughout the entire movie.
Overall, the acting was pretty poor; however for a first film, Pfister did an excellent job directing this very well written, semi-original, movie. Transcendence is no classic, but it did alright in holding my interest throughout its duration.
The views expressed in this column are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of The Wooster Blade as a whole.