HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Transcendence Information Super Die WayBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Wally Pfister
Stars: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Cole Hauser, Morgan Freeman, Clifton Collins Jr, Cory Hardricht, Falk Hentschel, Josh Stewart, Luce Rains, Fernando Lien, Steven Lui, Xander Berkeley, Lukas Haas, Wallace Langham
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the future and life on Planet Earth has been knocked back into a time when electricity was not yet used in the day to day thanks to a global disaster caused by the internet. Or rather, what was using the internet, and scientist Max Waters (Paul Bettany) was part of the resistance which eventually brought about the situation the world's population are struggling with today, something he cannot help but wonder if it was the correct course of action. It started five years ago when his good friend Dr Will Caster (Johnny Depp) was seeking to expand the horizons of technology in the realms of artficial intelligence, assisted by his loyal wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), little knowing of the Pandora's Box he was about to open...

Actually, Greek myth is probably not the right allusion to make here as the plot to this would-be science fiction epic concerned Adam and Eve trying to return to the Garden of Eden, they being the Will and Evelyn characters who run into some trouble when their pushing back of the boundaries of what we understand by science has unforseen consequences, starting with the terrorist group who want to halt the project in its tracks. On the day Will gives his big, pioneering speech to an auditorium of invited nerds - er, guests, that group sets off bombs in computer firms and labs which use them, and to top it off they send an assassin to shoot Will with a radioactive bullet to ensure he won't survive.

But our Eve has an idea: give her ailing husband the fruit of knowledge and preserve him: essentially, turn him into a computer program which can think for itself, though the question of just how sentient he is as Will and how alive he is as the program he has been "uploaded" to is one distracting the storyline throughout. Yes, we were in science fiction's usual technophobia where all those brave new worlds hid brave new drawbacks, something we had seen countless times before, with the Will-bot part of a long line of dangerous computers from HAL 9000 to Colossus in The Forbin Project to WOPR in WarGames to... you get the idea, it wasn't a fresh concept. But many a musty old premise can be given the kiss of life by novel methods, and cinematographer Wally Pfister made his debut directing with just that in mind.

Which was why the results were so oddly conservative and reined in, playing out just as you expected them to, and not only because they saw fit to plonk the ending of the movie down at the beginning, a sure sign the studio thought this has problems sustaining the patience of the audience so gave them a taste of the dystopia to come as if to say, hey, don't go, this does get interesting after a while, honest! Except it never really did, in spite of a cast that suggested Pfister had the pick of not only the actors who had worked with him on those Christopher Nolan movies he had photographed, but others were keen to be employed here too. What had they seen in the material that stubbornly refused to translate to the screen? After all, there were sci-fi efforts which took their time, and there was downright soporific.

Not even when the explosions begin did this pick up the pace, looking very slick but curiously bland when a wilder imagination might have conjured up imagery that suited the mindbending potential of its concept. Kate Mara showed up as the leader of the terrorists who turn out to have the right idea (or do they?) but all she did was glower; Morgan Freeman was supposedly instrumental in the revolution, yet was given barely anything of use to do aside from lending his reputation to the production, similarly Cillian Murphy was underutilised. But then, so was Depp, getting a few scenes in the first half hour as Mr Nice Guy Scientist, then relegated to a screen for the rest of it as Will tries to take his Utopian ideals to their logical conclusion by transforming everyone into a nanobot-infested computer person like him. Which left us with the interesting religious motifs, the most obvious being Will's rising again after being sacrificed to become a God, more or less, and the issue of whether mankind rejects him or not. On the strength of this, they did. Music by Mychael Danna.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1309 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: