Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed-to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can...but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.Written by
Will Caster is killed by the highly toxic radio-active element, Polonium (the same one used to murder Alexander Litvinenko in true-life in 2006). Despite its toxicity (scientists estimate that 1 gram could kill 50 million people), his wife and friends are allowed to remain with him in close proximity until his death. Whilst intact skin is actually a barrier to the passage of alpha radiation particles to a nearby person (so we could let them off this goof), we later see Caster's cremated ashes being tossed into the breeze above a river for all to breath in. These are hardly actions that any homeland security or radiation expert would conceivably have allowed to happen. See more »
They say there's power in Boston. Some phone service in Denver. But things are far from what they were. Maybe it was all invevitable. An unavoidable collision between mankind and technology. The Internet was meant to make the world a smaller place. But it actually feels smaller without it. I knew Will and Evelyn Caster better than anyone. I knew their brillance. Their dedication to what they believed in. And to what they loved.
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Transcendence, much like most of the latest sci-fi themed films to hit cinemas, is a wasted effort. It exhibits signature Pfister cinematography that we've come to love over the past decade. With Nolan's Batman trilogy and Inception, it was only a matter of time for Wally Pfister to take a stab at directing. Unfortunately, the only thing that seems well done in this film is the cinematography. The story, while seeming fresh and exciting on paper, devolves into a half baked idea with mediocre acting. Johnny Depp does the best he can while only being a mere voice during the latter half of the film. The rest of the cast seems wasted, this is especially true because we know how great Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall can be. Wally Pfister focuses more on capturing really fantastic shots but seems never truly devoted to the actual story. This comes as a major disappointment especially because of the hype that this film has been generating over the last year. When it boils down to it, Transcendence is just another exercise in style over substance, never matriculating to anything more than an average sci-fi thriller that has a criminally underused cast and phenomenal camera-work.
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