Transcendence is a complex film. Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is a leading artificial intelligence researcher. He is assisted by his wife Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) and his best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany). He is working to create a machine that has the collective intelligence of everything that has ever existed. This will, in his own words, help him better understand the world.
At a conference, Will is asked if he is trying to build his own God. To this he answers that isn’t everyone trying to do the same. This question is asked by an extremist who is a part of a larger group that is against the use of technology as they think that it will ultimately lead to human suffering. After the conference is over, the same individual shoots Will with a bullet laced with radioactive particles. The doctors tell Will and Evelyn that he has only a few months left to live. Will decides to upload his consciousness to the machine that he was building. In this Evelyn and Max must assist him.
After the machine has uploaded Will’s consciousness, it will be able to grow and perform complex functions. Max is against this and Evelyn asks him to leave. Will Evelyn be able to fulfill Will’s dream of creating a machine that has the collective intelligence of everything that has ever existed? What would be the repercussions of such a machine if developed? What will the extremists who are against the use of technology do to stop Evelyn? These and many other questions are answered as the viewer watches Transcendence.
Transcendence is a film way ahead of its time. It explores areas of artificial intelligence that no other film has explored so far. Watching it is like taking a peek into the future. Wally Pfister, an Oscar-winning choreographer, makes a fine directorial debut with this film. The cast that includes Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, and Morgan Freeman among others has given top-notch performance. The film is a must watch for all those who are interested in science fiction. It is a thought-provoking film, and after a long time the audience will get to see such a highly evolved film dealing with such a complex issue.