Director: Wally Pfister
Writer: Jack Paglen
Cast: Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy and Kate Mara
Studio: Warner Brothers

“Transcendence” reminds of 1995. It wants to mix a romance with tech terms that are way beyond the pay grade of the creative talent. A fringe anti-tech group bands together to stop Johnny Depp from building a super computer that will end their hippie bullshit as they know it. Depp takes a bullet and his wife lovingly uploads his brain like a USB stick into the greater main frame. This makes Jack Sparrow go all Lawnmower Man and Pfister’s work pals from the Nolanverse show up to explain things for the mouth breathers.

I know that a lot of people have been bemoaning the tech rationale in the movie. They say that the Singularity was handled better in “Her”. The last half of the movie is an excuse to make a tech run amok movie while having Depp Computer make CG creations via nanotechnology. People freak out and try to stop him, while having minor philosophical conversations among themselves. It’s enough to make William Gibson shove an Ethernet cable up his ass and shit bile through a long series of tubes. But, what makes this a terrible movie?

Johnny Depp is at a point in his career where he needs to think stuff out. This is a production favor for a friend if I ever saw one. I don’t believe Pfister has ever worked with Depp before, but the production is made out of Nolanverse extras and folks that have helped propel Pfister along as a cinematographer. Deep is starting to act like an aging Universal Horror star working for American International. Sure, he still commands big paychecks, but the quality of work has dropped to mediocre levels. Is Depp still a great actor? I’d say yes. But, he’s doing dime store shit like this that isn’t worth anyone’s time. Even if you’re not big into tech and the ethical issues surrounding it, this is still a film about nothing. Spend your money on “The Raid 2”.

RELEASE DATE: 04/18/2014


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