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Johnny Depp Can’t Save “Transcendence”

Alcon Entertainment

David Ives - published on 04/18/14 - updated on 06/08/17

Sadly, Transcendence doesn’t get that far into the argument. After some lip service, it settles early on for the atheists’ notion that the mind all by itself is the person and runs with it. I suppose if that were the movies only problem, it wouldn’t be so bad. At least you could use it for jumping off points for some interesting after-movie discussions. Unfortunately it has a few problems script-wise as well. None of the characters act consistently, which a couple of times during the movie might have audiences scratching their heads wondering why a certain person was doing one thing when in just the scene before they were dead set on doing the opposite. Seriously, at one point near the end, I thought I must have dozed off for a second because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out one character’s sudden change of heart.

There’s also the fact that the movie just plain gets silly after Will uses his computerized intellect to make a quantum leap in nanotechnology. Technically, I don’t think anything happens in Transcendence that science doesn’t predict nanites will one day be able to do, but for some reason it all just seems way too futuristic (or even magical) for the film and comes across as a lazy excuse to indulge in some flashy CGI. And don’t get me started on why Will doesn’t just immediately infect everybody with all those nanites he has floating around so he can simply rule the world without any resistance. Just don’t go there.

So, yeah, Transcendence has its good and its bad. It’s got a lack of eyeliner, but also a lack of logic. You can use your limited human brain to decide for yourself which is more important.

In a world he didn’t create, in a time he didn’t choose, one man looks for signs of God in the world by… watching movies. When he’s not reviewing new releases for Aleteia, David Ives spends his time exploring the intersection of low-budget/cult cinema and Catholicism at The B-Movie Catechism.

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