Two leading computer scientists work toward their goal of Technological Singularity, as a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent them from creating a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.
A little surprised that the film has received a mixed bag of reviews, those that have praised the film up, are in my view on the money. 'Dr Will Carter'(Johnny Depp) is a leader in the field of Artificial Intelligence' when gunned down by 'Technology Extremists' he is left with just weeks to live, the bullet had been contaminated. He doesn't want his work to be lost, he has his mind, thoughts and emotions uploaded into a super-computer system his intention is to achieve 'Transcendence' He's gone, or is he, the transfer of his mind has been successful, he can again communicate with his wife 'Evelyn' (Rebecca Hall) The results are of concern to his long-time friend 'Max Waters' (Paul Bettany) wants to shut 'Will' down, 'Evelyn' won't allow it she's delighted to have communication with her lost husband, it's of comfort. The extremists led by 'Bree' (Kate Mara) attempt to shut 'Will' down, they fail, they now turn to 'Max' by taking him by force, hoping he'll assist them in-time. 'Will' instructs 'Evelyn' to build a hi-tech complex in the outskirts of a remote town nestled in the 'New Mexico' desert, 'Brightwood' where he hopes with 'Evelyn's' help he can continue and indeed expand his work. 'Will's' prime intention is to help mankind however he also wants to reach out beyond the screens he is now locked behind. Former associates of 'Will' - 'Joseph Tagger' (Morgan Freeman) and Agent 'Buchanan' (Cillian Murphy) visit the complex to see 'Will's' work in action, what they see troubles them. There is a need to shut 'Will' down, before his power is absolute, will he let those who are trying do so, can what has been created be stopped. This is a superior and clever film that explores the boundaries, mesmerizingly brilliant. Great cast line-up, great picture and sound quality throughout. Features - * Exploring artificial intelligence * What is Transcendence ? * Wally Pfister : A singular vision * Featurette - Guarding the Threat and The Promise of A.I * Teaser video narrated by Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman
Scary because it could come true in the not too distant future. As a Sci-fi fan I though this movie was good. I can understand why people who looked at the A-list cast and were disappointed that they are hardly in the movie itself.
Johnny Depp plays Will Caster who is an expert in the field of artificial intelligence. He and his wife have built a Rebecca Hall/Evelyn Caster have built a super computer with human responses but it's cold logic it cannot tell the different between right and wrong. Will comes at the problem from the angle of what is conscious in a human? Could the same thing be duplicated in a machine allowing it to "Transcend" it limitations? The question then is what will it become? Will humans be able to control it or will it become the omnipotent? I like this movie because I got to see both sides of the argument from anti technologists, the middle ground of people saying technology is ok as long as it is used as a tool, to people wanting to see technology evolve the way he have. The movie is entertaining, but not the kind of movie you want to turn your brain off to watch. I enjoyed it.
Transcendence was a bit of a unique film from what I have seen in the past. Based a little in the future, as mankind is continuing it's attempts at creation of an A.I. there are a few versions in progress. However there is a great support to terminate all such projects for fear that the machines will one day take over. A story that has been told many times by various other films.
However, this film diversifies considerably when those activists take such action that one of the scientists (Mr Depp himself) has his consciousness uploaded into his own A.I. creation becoming it's personality. The Story continues on but is it still the scientist? or is it just a persona taken on by the A.I. ?
Although the premise of the film is intriguing its execution is ultimately disappointing. The danger to the human race of powerful artificial intelligent beings have been imagined in many previous action / adventure movies, in particular the impressive Matrix and Terminator films. Transcendence promises to be a more considered exploration of this theme, and for the most part succeeds in examining some of the possible consequences to humankind of a sentient, all powerful artificial intelligence. Johnny Depp's voice in the machine is very reminiscent in tone to that of Hal (from Kubrick's magnificent 2001 A Space Odyssey) with its calm reassuring menace. However, whereas the cinematography and special effects are generally effective, the slow pace of the narrative and much of the dialogue is often clunky and it becomes difficult to empathise with any of the characters portrayed. The film is not a total disaster but it had the potential to be so much better.
This reminded me of the film Ghost from 1990. The main character comes back this time as a ......computer program lol. Ironically the film ask the question of whether computers can replace humanity yet the director must have forgotten he was making a film for humans to watch not robots. Great cast but all a bit bland. Watch Ghost instead.