Cert: 12A / 119 mins / Dir. Wally Pfister
There's something faintly ironic about the film industry's pre-occupation with scaremongering about technology, whilst delivering its message in digitally projected high-definition. Almost as if an audience that has nothing better to do on a Friday night than sit in a darkened room not talking to each other, is going to leave the auditorium and eschew the modern ways to live in a cave and grow sunflowers.
Actually, to be fair, that's not the message in Transcendence, if only because it hasn't really got a message, other than Johnny Depp turns into a bit of an arsehole if you plug him into the mains. I suspect that director Wally Pfister had grand visions of making a film about science, conscience, society and the nature of identity; sadly, writer Jack Paglen had other ideas. The latest Depp vehicle limps along for two hours after hamstringing itself in the opening scenes, having
The film's approach to computer science, physics and biology is either staggeringly naive, or willfully stupid, and the occasional nods towards religious symbolism make Noah look positively agnostic. The only person with any real acting to do is Rebecca Hall (which she manages with ease), while Depp, Bettany and Freeman phone in the performances that their pay-checks allow for. At least Cillian Murphy looks relieved his role is a relatively minor one. This is a film which will be on few CVs, I imagine.
An interesting premise is clumsily handled, ticking every box on the techno-thriller checklist, albeit with illegible handwriting. Transcendence never goes so far as to be actively 'bad', but manages to maintain a constant level of 'not that good', which is somehow worse.
If you harbour a vague distrust of computers and have ever wondered if a programmed simulation of Johnny Depp is noticeably different to the real thing, 'Lawnmower Man 3' is the film for you…
The trailer works better than the film, largely because it doesn't attempt to explain itself at every turn.
Nowhere near enough.
This is a '3 DVDs for £10 at Asda' movie.
Didn't hear one.
Did anyone else want to punch some kittens when Evelyn checked into a hotel under the pre-arranged pseudonym 'Turing'?
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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