memento_mori's Movie Review of Transcendence

Rating of


How thin must a screenplay be?
memento_mori - wrote on 05/15/14

I have always been weary when it comes to big-budget, hugely hyped and marketed films by the people who worked with the big people (an example being Tony Gilroy's take on Bourne), and yet again I had reason to, because as profound and philosophical as this tim may look, Wally Pfister missed the mark so terribly in his disastrous take on boring science fiction nonsense.

A motif in this film is a drop of water falling in slow motion from a dandelion. The reason I use this as a piece of evidence to this film's fault is precisely because it represents the entire film: it makes no sense whatsoever. There is not a bit about water in the entire film, nor do they ever mention flowers or does anything have to do with this obvious attempt at symbolism.
Enough with nitpicking, though, let's tear this pretentious lackluster apart.

To say it indelicately: this film will give you blue balls. There is not a moment in the entire film where I could think: Yes, the acting and the characters match up very well, or, Yes, the pacing and direction go very well together. Therefore, it never allows you a release or some kind of satisfaction. And it does this from beginning to end, with such a self-indulgent and smug attitude that I began to feel pissed off by how good it thought it was.

A film which is as horridly paced as this one should at least know its duty as a science fiction film: entertainment. I never got that. I got a weak excuse for entertainment in this film's bland environment.
It looks like a slightly advanced 2014 with a bunch of endoskeleton crossed with mercury liquids coming out of the ground and 'fixing' humans. Who thought that was a good idea on paper? I would like to picture the first pitch of this screenplay to the producers, because anyone with a tincture of logic would have deciphered what a panda could figure out is illogical about this movie. EVERYTHING.

I don't think I have ever seen good actors be more wasted in a movie. Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany and Kate Mara do nothing in this movie. The performances are even more accidentally flat than the characters, because nobody's personality reaches further than the description: scientist guy's wife or young woman who is against the dominance of technology.
Rebecca Hall was okay, she did what she could.

The more I think about it, the more I want to slap someone.
Completely devoid of creativity, a storyline, smooth pacing and professionalism anywhere outside the field of photography. A film with no flair, no prudence or consideration for excellent actors in what could have been excellent characters, and most of all: nothing to say at any point.

Sorry, Pfister, but some left-over actors from Batman who have nothing to do and archive landscape footage from Prometheus just isn't quite enough to even provoke a slight interest for me in staying awake during this undeniable waste of time.

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