News

REVIEW: Johnny Depp and crew fail at ‘Transcendence’

REVIEW: Johnny Depp and crew fail at ‘Transcendence’

Johnny Depp stars in the sci-fi thriller "Transcendence." Photo: Associated Press/Warner Bros. Pictures, Peter Mountain

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi | Run Time: 119 min | Rated: PG-13
Director: Wally Pfister | Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman

By: George Wolf

Johnny Depp fans could use a little good news. The genuine talent hasn’t made a film worth watching since 2011′s Rango, and that was a cartoon – and his only half-decent movie since 2007′s Sweeney Todd.

Unfortunately, Transcendence isn’t going to help matters.

Depp plays Dr. Will Caster, a very happily married scientist doing research that will make unfathomable breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. And oh what a muddled mess it turns out to be. The movie, I mean. The A.I. turns out to also be Johnny Depp, which beats the hell out of Arnold Schwarzenegger any day.

Making his debut as a feature director is Wally Pfister – Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer. Predictably, the film has an evocative look. Unfortunately, he did not pick up his colleague’s grasp of the intricacies of a heady fantasy.

Jack Paglen‘s screenplay offers a cautionary tale about our blind acceptance of the invasion of technology. Unless it’s warning us about pollution. Our personal isolation? Lack of privacy? All of the above, often while undermining its own other arguments? Bingo.

Basically, Paglen bites off more than he or his cast can chew. The film offers sparks of relevance, but it can’t decide what direction to go. It layers its fantastical warnings around a love story, and at least for that it relies on the natural talent of its leads, Depp, Rebecca Hall, and Paul Bettany as their colleague and friend.

Their work draws whatever attention the film manages to pique. Unfortunately, it’s not enough, particularly since their tale is saddled with a dopey ending that defies even the film’s own nonsensical internal logic.

But at least it’s not Lone Ranger.

Read more movie reviews at MaddWolf.com.

Recent Headlines

in Music

You could have a country star in your fantasy football league

Fresh
florida

You could impress your friends by telling them the commissioner of your fantasy football league is Florida Georgia Line.

in Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: The history of the ‘high-five’

highfive

It's the gesture associated with all things awesome but the history behind this iconic handshake might surprise you.

in Entertainment

‘The Book of Life’ takes No. 1 spot on bestsellers list

bookoflife

The final novel of the time-traveling trilogy written by Deborah Harkness, shot straight to the top of the bestsellers list.

in Music

Kenny Chesney helps fans gets tickets after website crashes

kennychesney

The country music superstar has solved a ticketing mix up caused by a glitch on his website for his only live show of 2014.

in Music

Luke Bryan offering all-expenses paid trip to one lucky troop

lukebryan

The "Drunk On You" hitmaker is showing his gratitude to U.S. troops by giving them a chance to win a trip to attend one of his shows.