ByJames M. Tate, writer at Creators.co
Top Shark Cinema Writer at CultFilmFreaks.com and Now a Movie Pilot Remora...
James M. Tate

It should come as no surprise that a mindtrip experience would begin in Berkeley, California… And with a mellow Jorma Kaukonen acoustic track chiming from a record player into a lovely garden, one wouldn’t expect TRANSCENDENCE to be so modern and technological…

Even Johnny Depp’s brilliant Dr. Will Caster seems above such trivial matters as The Internet… With a voice sounding like a slightly buzzed Walter Cronkite impersonating an upper-class British snob, Depp is not only a guest star but doesn’t seem all there. Even when alive and kicking, before becoming part of a computer creation involving reanimated brainwaves, the Depp role could have been played by anyone…

And speaking of wasted casting, let’s breeze past filler roles including Morgan Freeman as a doubting scientist and Cillian Murphy as an FBI Agent… The real lead is Rebecca Hall as Caster’s wife Evelyn, who, carrying her late husband’s brain and voice via computer, sets up a gigantic research station in a town so small there’s hardly room for one horse.All the work misleads us into thinking something nefarious will happen…

For it seems that Caster, whose flickering image appears anywhere his wife roams within the white-walled underground compound, isn’t exactly himself: he could very well be a monstrous computer taking over the world! Which sounds like a potentially decent sci-fi thriller… But after a rushed military attack we’re left with a preachy message that could have been titled AN INCONVENIENT MATRIX...

At least Jorma’s meditative Genesis is spun once again. If anything else, [Transcendence](movie:703173) serves as an outlet for the Jefferson Airplane (and Hot Tuna) guitarist to be heard as a solo act in a big budget mainstream film... Although this particular white rabbit leads us absolutely nowhere.

Movie Score: *1/2 out of *****

By James M. Tate

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