Dr. Will Caster, one of the smartest men on the planet, is a researcher working in the field of Artificial Intelligence. His main objective is to create a sentient machine that combines a vast amount of intelligence no man could ever possess with the full range of human emotions. His controversial experiments have made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do anything to stop him. During one of Will's press conferences he is killed by these extremists but in doing so they inadvertently become the catalyst that enables Will to succeed. Will's wife, Evelyn and Max Waters, both fellow researchers, upload Will's consciousness into their most advanced computer systems but soon after the question becomes, can they trust it? Wally Pfister's Transcendence is a film bursting with ideas about man's relationship with technology but unfortunately the film's themes become incredibly muddled. Transcendence is one of the few films I can recall that has an interesting narrative with ideas but its themes become increasingly convoluted under the weight of the love story between Will and Eveyln. As the film ended I had no idea what type of point Transcendence was trying to make. Was it a parable about socialism (I doubt it), a warning about humanities reliance on technology?, or simply a story about the power of love. While a film could certainly be all three, this film finds these different ideas conflicting with each other throughout the narrative with seemingly no idea of what the film wants to truly say. On the more positive side of the spectrum, Transcendence is a visual treat that does provide a lot of unique visuals and special effects that along with an interesting enough narrative helps distance itself from so many of the other man vs. machine films. As far as I can tell, Pfister did an adequate job as a filmmaker and I found some of the production design to be quite engrossing. Wally Pfister's Transcendence is not the mess that some critics seem to indicate, delivering some unique blockbuster thrills but unfortunately the film doesn't really know what it wants to say.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.