|Movie Review: Transcendence Starring Johnny Depp & Elon|
The trailers made it look like one of those science-and-progress-is-bad movies, where something takes over humanity and kills us all, etc. I was pleasantly surprised it was NOT one of those movies. The movie itself really seemed like it was one of those movies - a full 3/4 at least of the movie was shaping up to be like that. If anything however, it was possibly an anti-science-is-bad movie. It was actually a pretty hard-scifi movie. The technology is obviously far beyond our current level, but from their somewhat-explained approach to digitizing human consciousness, to the 'grey-goo' nanotechnology (though portrayed slightly magic-like) it was all fairly plausible technology that didn't take a huge magic-makes-it-work leap.
Throughout the majority of the movie, they made it look a lot like Caster (Depp) had some kind of world-domination plan, and was turning people in to mindless zombies. The science-is-bad types of course decided this was bad, etc, you can imagine where this goes. From the right perspective through, Caster was doing absolutely nothing bad - he was showcasing the benefits of nanotechnology, he improved people's lives, and at nearly the last minute we found out that everything he was doing was to benefit humanity and the earth as a whole. Rather than a dangers-of-technology movie, it turned out to be a dangers-of-dangers-of-technology-movies movie. Humanity simply couldn't see things from his perspective, so they destroyed him and ended up worse for it.
The story of Caster to me seemed to very closely mirror Dr. Manhattan - he became all-powerful, others feared what he became, he slowly lost humanty, but in the end, all that he did (Cooperating with Veidt) was for the good of humanity, but executed in a way most people just couldn't understand because mere normal humans can't possibly see things from his perspective)
The problem I think most people have with the movie is that it doesn't have very clear direction - while there's certainly a dramatic story, it's not a very good drama movie, it's not an action movie (there are a few action scenes, largely pointless - almost seemed like the kind of thing a studio would force to be in a movie like this) and it's really just an great concept of a movie. While the visual direction was great, I think a more experienced director (I could see Kubrick or someone similar taking on a project with this kind of concept) would have had better direction for the story telling and plot of the movie - to really turn the great concept in to a great story, it could have been amazing.
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