Which is worse: a bad film or a disappointing one? Transcendence manages to be both at the same time.

Wally Pfister’s directorial debut is a fractured crazy pavement, cementing together thick slabs of sociological, technological and theological conundrums – all of which it either clumsily trips over or scrapes itself on.

This particular cement, mixed by new scribe Jack Paglen, cuts a tragic figure: an unremarkable instruction manual yearning to be an intellectual science fiction thriller. But its Johnny Depp ballgown doesn’t fit and its technobabble jewellery has no gleam.

For all its emphasis on technology, Transcendence has zero electricity.

Transcendence does look beautiful, but this only reaffirms it to be a classic example of style over substance. Stick to the cinematography, Wally.



CAST: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Hauser  

DIRECTOR: Wally Pfister

WRITER: Jack Paglen

SYNOPSIS: As Dr. Will Caster works toward his goal of creating an omniscient, sentient machine, a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent him from establishing a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.