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May 11, 2014 | by  | in Arts Film |
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Nine reasons why I regret spending $12 on Transcendence

1.     Plot summary: They build a supercomputer with a human conscience, take over a nothing town in the desert and create zombies. Pretty much.

2.     Lacklustre character development: For ground-breaking scientists who are supposedly striving to save the world, their success at fucking up everyone else’s lives in blindly pursuing their selfish delusions was phenomenal.

3.     Unconvincing love story: They declare themselves to be partners in “both research and life”, but other than their shared nerdy interest in computer science there was no chemistry.

4.     Both morally dubious and confusing, the film advertises geoengineering to the point of almost glorifying its development as a harbinger of environmental replenishment and human invincibility.

5.     The ending is predictable within half an hour, helped by a damning prelude and a shallow plot. Somehow, the level of disappointment was still unexpected, with the appearance of the credits unhealthily sparking anger.

6.     Questionable ethical decisions: Uploading your husband to a computer by putting spikes in his brain in an abandoned unsterilised school hall when he is dying of radiation poisoning and getting away with it.

7.     There is a sickeningly clichéd sunflower metaphor.

8.     Johnny Depp wasn’t even a saving grace, proving himself to be a truly terrible actor beyond pirates and crazy candy manufacturers. His terribly attractive deep eyes and brooding expressions were sadly not enough. As the voice of a computer, he excelled, managing to still conjure the impression of his twitchy pout; however, otherwise, he simply looked blank and bored.

9.     Time lapses: There seemed to be no awareness of how building a five-storey underground super-lab that governs the world would not be possible in a couple of days. Serious flaw in attention to detail.

It is not, however, exactly a boring movie, with the pace holding your frustrated attention to the screen in spite of forsaking much-needed sophistication. The use of concepts such as nanotechnology and experimentation on monkeys made it more plausible than other sci-fi thrillers, and scenes involving explosions were perfectly timed. Plus, when is it ever justified to criticise Morgan Freeman?

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