Review: Transcendence

02 May 14

What was everyone afraid of?

I love movies that explore the integration of human intelligence with technology. Transcendence goes the whole hog and proposes a complete uploading of human consciousness into the digital world. A little far-fetched, yes, but no less than the transporter technology of the USS Enterprise, which uploads not only the consciousness, but the entire body as well.

What I loved the most was Will's character, who I thought remained a nice friendly guy throughout the movie, especially when he seemingly achieved God-status. But for some reason, every other person in the movie turned fearful of him, even his wife, and became hell-bent on destroying him. I didn't understand this at all, and neither did the movie even try to explain it. I guess they just put it down to the old doomsday concept that no man can be trusted with superhuman powers, and we were expected to accept that Will somehow went to the darkside after he was uploaded. I ask the question, since Spock gave up his emotional side for logic, did that mean he was prone to be anti-human? From my own experience, it is emotion that always seems to lead to the urge to dominate others, not logic, so assuming that Will would become the bad guy was the most far-fetched part of the movie for me.

This fearful attitude I'd expect from the government, but I didn't expect it from Joseph (Morgan Freeman's character), who was the one to turn Will's wife against him. At a point where I thought he would be weary, but grounded, he actually freaked. It was at that point that I felt like walking out.

Needless to say, the fear was shown to be unjustified, but the ending didn't focus on this in any way. In fact, other than Will's wife, I assume everyone else in the movie still thought they'd done the right thing by destroying everything he'd created, so I went home largely unsatisfied with the storyline. I did, however, enjoy the human-technology concepts so much that I still gave the movie three stars. If only they'd taken the 'Her' approach and focused on the possibilities rather than the fears, it would have been a very successful movie for me.