Movie of the week: Transcendence

Academy Award winning cinematographer Wally Pfister decides to try his hand directing a feature-length sci-fy drama called “Transcendence.” Johnny Depp stars as Dr. Will Caster, a brilliant pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence who believes he is on the verge of developing a machine with God-like potential; a mechanism capable of rivaling the collective knowledge, feeling and instinct of every person who has ever lived on the planet. His theory and studies has been met with open arms from his colleagues but have also made him a target of an anti-technology terrorist syndicate called R.I.F.T., and Dr. Caster is gunned down for his findings. On his deathbed, his wife Evelyn, played by Rebecca Hall, has an idea to save him: digitize his brain-patterns and store his consciousness on a computer and the process is successful, initially. Dr. Caster begins to seek new information over the internet and the results of his new lust for power could spell the end of humanity.

What am I looking to see?: Wally Pfister is a longtime friend, pupil and colleague of Christopher Nolan and I look forward to see Pfister’s experience working under and from Nolan to be put on display in his directorial debut. “Transcendence” looks like a movie that explores the notion of what it means to be human and the dangers of relying on technology but it also has a very cryptic and frightening atmosphere to it as well. I believe this is the film I’ve been waiting to see from Johnny Depp because he has worked with directors he has worked with before for too long and for the longest time, I’ve wanted to see him in a feature that really gets him out of his comfort zone and challenges him and “Transcendence” appears to do the former rather than the latter. I want to enjoy watching Johnny Depp perform on screen again and the supporting cast of Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Cilian Murphy and Kate Mara look capable of lifting this film with Depp. I also expect screenwriter Jack Paglen to excite me with the plot and Pfister to bring the plot to life. Quite simply, I want “Transcendence” to transcend my expectations.


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