Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) and his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) are researchers in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Will’s goal is to create a machine that can think for itself and feel a full range of human emotions. However, there are those that aim to stop any further attempts at AI technology and thus target Will and his colleagues. In an attempt to “save” Will’s life after he has been shot with a bullet traced with radiation poisoning, Evelyn uploads Will’s mind to a supercomputer.
If there’s one thing that Transcendence does well, it’s warning people away from the potential future of technology. Just seeing the ways that technology consumed Will Caster was almost enough to make me swear off of technology for good. Almost.
The trailers for this movie looked so good. I wanted to like this movie, I really did. But as someone who knows next-to-nothing about the future of technology, this movie was so far-fetched.
Once Will is connected to the Internet, he has access to all of the information online and can thus rapidly expand his knowledge. This allows Will to almost instantaneously provide his wife with an absurd amount of money so that she can move to some far-off desert town, buy all of the land and property, and build a lab where Will can further his research and experiments, one of which is to create a cell that replicates and rebuilds itself. Will uses these cells for basically everything, spreading them around the world like pixie dust. Eventually he even makes a replica of his body that is habitable.
If Johnny Depp’s computer death stare isn’t enough to keep you from agreeing to upload your mind to a supercomputer some day, I don’t know what will.
Transcendence hits theaters April 18.