Transcendence, the first film to be directed by cinematography Wally Pfister, feels like an independent sci-fi thriller rather than a blockbuster film.
The two-hour thriller was written by Jack Paglen and has a great cast in Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman. Despite the big names in the cast, the movie feels like it should have had a smaller budget while keeping all the visuals. Or not being marketed like a blockbuster.
Directed by Pfister, it should be no surprise that the visuals are above average. It’s similar to what he brought to Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
It’s the thought-provoking themes in the film that make me feel that it should have been released as an independent film rather than a blockbuster.
The film revolves around artificial intelligence as Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is one of the foremost researches working to create a machine that combines intelligence and human emotions. While it has made him famous, it also makes him the target of anti-technology extremists.
In their attempts to stop his work, they soon become the prime motive in helping him to succeed and even transcend.
For his wife, Evelyn (Hall) and another researcher, Max (Bettany), is not really a matter of if they should help him transcend but whether or not they should. Shortly after uploading Will’s consciousness, they soon discover how thirsty he is for more knowledge. This evolves into a omnipresent quest and there is no way to stop him.