“Sometimes, you have a great idea. Sometimes that great idea makes a pretty cool movie. Sometimes, it just doesn’t. Transcendence fell somewhere in between in that it made about half a cool movie. Then the idea got away from them.

The initial concept was cool, downloading a human mind into a computer to form a new type of AI. That brought along a lot of moral and ethical questions, and an interesting film. Then it got bigger. The leaps made less and less sense. The science got sketchier and sketchier. Where things ended up could have also been a pretty cool movie, it just didn’t work with where things started. Getting there felt kinda dumb and extreme, and just lost me.

I spent a good while thinking about what an interesting double feature this would make with Her. Both offer very different takes on the emotional capabilities of technology and what it’s like to have a relationship with AI. Transcendence at least had a human basis, but that machine took a far darker turn. Yet both took advantage of being networked into the rest of the world, although with very different results. It might be worth exploring the comparisons further, except that would mean having to sit thru this one again. I’m not sure if I’m up for it.

The cast might be reason enough to revisit it. Lots of familiar faces were popping up, many unexpected. Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall, we knew. Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara and Paul Bettany I’d forgotten. Bettany hasn’t really been doing much in a while, so he was very welcome. Cillian Murphy was a happy surprise. He needs to do more things, or rather, more things that people (mostly me) will actually see. Also hadn’t seen Clifton Collins Jr in a while, after he’d dominated the bit part field a couple years back. Alas, while that is an incredible cast to put together, individually they all have much better films than this.

Wow I went way harsher on this than I expected. I did enjoy the first half or so, but I can’t seem to find anything else positive to say. Judging by the box office results, it looks like most people just skipped this one entirely. They didn’t really miss much.

Transcendence – \m/ \m/ \n