Transcendence : Great premise but poor execution

1.5 stars on 5.

So when you deal with science fictions its always tricky. The Matrix had first of its kind stunts and visual effects. Add to that they had oracle who spoke Indian ancient gyan. Matrix continues to haunt the science fiction movies that released after that. Avatar has a similar concept of body sleeping but mind wandering in a different form and shape but it made up for its stunning visuals and heart touching story.

Now why was I lost when I had to write a review for Transcendence? While I figure that out, let me start with what captivated me the most to watch the movie. Kick ass casting. We have Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy to name the best. Add to that Christopher Nolan is the executive producer for the movie.

The camera man for all of Nolan’s movies like Batman series, Inception Wally Pfister is the director of this movie, which according to me is the biggest mistake here. Sometimes human brain is the greatest canvas. Introduce a few new concepts, tease the brain with a few clues and it takes off with its own imagination. Now meeting that imagination is a difficult thing to do. Genius directors exceed this imagination. However when it comes to this movie, the director builds a great premise that promises to thrill you. So you wait patiently for the science fiction to take over and sweep you away. Even if the first half is slow it is still engaging. Sadly for Transcendence a great cast is wasted.

Johnny Depp disappears after the first 30 minutes and we see his face alone in the computer screens and you hear his voice. Half the time you are wondering whether he is a good guy or a bad guy. And the savers of the society from artificial intelligence, are they good guys or bad ? Everything becomes clear in the second half and trust me by then you would hardly bother to think about it. You would even wonder if you want to walk out in between. The movie ends in a manner that compels you to think that there might be a sequel coming up ?

Acting wise, Mr. Freeman does his part. He tries to be the legendary Mr. Fox from the batman movies, but his character does not give him the depth or the length to establish himself. Well you got the scarecrow playing a FBI agent but merely helpless. Rebecca Hall does a decent job but they make her walk the white pathway of the research campus too often.

Transcendence is not as transcending as the director would have wanted it to transcend.

–Varun Gowtham Mannava.


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