It’s always a shame when a movie that wants to be a genuinely intelligent slice of a-list entertainment fails. If one succeeds, Hollywood always treats it like a fluke, but if it bombs they point at it as proof that all that audiences want are big, dumb fireworks. What’s a particular pity with Transcendence is that it would probably have been better as a slightly smaller film.
Johnny Depp plays Will Caster, a scientist working on artificial intelligence who believes he’s close to creating a machine that will vastly outstrip any human intellect there’s ever been. However as there always is in this type of film, a group of terrorist-type people don’t believe in this type of machine and launch a series of attacks on facilities working on AI systems. That includes shooting Will with a bullet that doesn’t initially kill him, but is poisoned with a radioactive isotope that will cause him to die over the course of a few weeks. [Read more…]