Movie Monday, Movies

Transcendence: Evolution Bad, Don’t Do (Movie Monday)

Psst. Hey. If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, I’d highly recommend doing so! There’s a pretty big announcement in there that may spark your interest! You can check that out with the handy link at the bottom of the page.
Now, on with the review!

In light of yesterday’s announcement, I figured I’d pick an appropriate theme for this week’s content. Consider it a sort of wetting of the appetite. So this week, excluding ‘The Best of the Bestiary’ is all about science fiction!

Sci-Fi is one of the most commonly explored genres in cinema. There are many classics in this department, from ‘Star Trek’ to ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Aliens’ to ‘The Terminator’, ‘AI: Artificial Intelligence’ to ‘Ex Machina’ and ‘The Matrix’ to… the other Matrix films. But among them all, Transcendence manages to stand out above them all!

By being so unbearably fucking boring!

Plot: AI! Cancer! Technology Bad!

Mess. That’s the best word I can use to describe this movie. It’s a

Johnny Depp’s character (I’ll be fucked if I’m remembering his name) is a super genius who builds the most advanced AI in history. Unfortunately, he’s shot down by a member of an anti-technology terrorist organization and given cancer by the radioactive bullet! Now, his wife and old friend must work together to recreate his consciousness into an AI in order to preserve him. But they may have gone too far and created something… terrible…

Does that sound cool? It sure does! Shame that IT ISN’T!!

The plot is agonizingly slow! The first ten minutes feel like a hundred hours! It opens up fairly strongly with a post-apocalyptic world devoid of technology, then grinds to a halt with some of the most poor character introductions I’ve ever seen. From there, the movie drags its feet for two fucking hours, building up back to the beginning.

None of the characters are memorable in any way. They are completely devoid of personality or depth from the beginning to the end of the film. We don’t know what they like, what they don’t like, where they come from, or why we should care. All we know about them is that they’re smart! Worse yet, they have about as much chemistry together as a drop of water on a block of concrete! Any intrigue in the ‘rebuilding a human mind as an AI’ plot thread is completely slaughtered!

Nothing is helped by the god awful dialogue. If it doesn’t wound robotic, it just sounds straight up ridiculous! It’s as if it were written by an actual AI trying to replicate what humans sound like! You’d think that’d be hilarious, but in all actuality it’s just boring!

Visuals: Holy Shit, Actual Effort!

Well, at least the cinematographer actually gave a shit. Kind of.

There are some creative and interesting shots in this movie. They don’t help with the plot, but they certainly make it more interesting. Unfortunately, for every creative shot that makes good use of the lighting, angle and character placement, there are a thousand shot-reverse-shots.

Half of this film is shot like a genuine drama. The other half is shot like a soap-opera. So, in terms of quality, it gets a 50%.

Hey. At least they tried.

Performances: Wake Up, Mr. Depp!

Y’know it’s a thrilling movie when the actors involved sound like they’re about to fall asleep just reading their lines.

Everyone looks like they’re about to fall asleep! Each line is monotone and boring, as if the director said “SOUND MORE LIKE A ROBOT!! MORE, DAMN YOU!! MORE MONOTONE!!”

Luckily, Morgan Freeman is willing to say “No. I’m actually going to try.” But not even he can save this disaster.

There are a few moments where the actors seem to give a shit. Unfortunately, those are all short-lived. Then, we’re right back to boring town. It’s abundantly clear that everyone working in this movie did so for the sake of a paycheck.

Hell, even the background extras don’t give a shit! And all they have to do is sit there! That’s a new low if I’ve ever seen one!

Conclusion

‘Transcendence’ is, on a conceptual level, an incredibly interesting piece of science-fiction. It can deal with some incredibly deep and interesting themes about the dangers of scientific advancement, giving a human mind too much power, and the costs of what may be the next stage of human evolution. It should be a great movie!

But it falls flat on almost every aspect. It simplifies these wildly complex themes to ‘technology bad’ rather than properly exploring both the pros and cons. Worse yet, it’s dragged down by terrible dialogue, lifeless performances, and characters completely devoid of character.

Don’t bother with this movie. It is a boring waste of two hours of your life. If you need an interesting piece of sci-fi, you can find a better alternative around any corner. Movies that far better explore the themes presented in this film.

What a way to kick off Sci-Fi week!

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