In Transcendence, Is Johnny Depp the New HAL 9000?

Transcendence is centered on the fear many have of where technology is taking us and of how it’s transforming the human species. It has the trappings of a film that wishes even its most fantastical elements to be taken seriously. Brilliant scientists extoll the virtuous potential of artificial intelligence that could one day “heal the planet.” Neo-luddites rail against the blasphemy of men becoming gods who give birth to a new form of life. Morgan Freeman performs a contemplative voice-over.

So when the story goes completely off the rails — ignoring its own unfounded leaps of logic and poorly explained gaps in its timeline — and its science morphs into magic, the movie becomes all the more laughable thanks to its pretensions.

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