Transcendence is great for post-movie discussion.
Here's a review I'm working on:
6 out of 10 stars (I want to give it this score for this review although in another review I gave it 7.5)
A human is a three-part being: 1) a reincarnating spirit or a spirit capable of reincarnating, 2) into a body, (it has chakras and an aura); it is incarnated into a society, so it has cultural and societal layers and 3) traveling with limitations, roadways, barriers set by the Solar System (Chinese Astrology, Western Astrology, and Locational Astrology, Astro-Carto-Graphy, specifically).
All this, with a failing grade, is reduced in the movie, Transcendence, to the question: Are You Self Aware?
The movie was not self-aware of its depth, its holiness. Kubrick, Verdi, Leonard Bernstein, somebody help this movie see its greatness and lift it all at least four out of ten notches higher. The movie doesn’t take itself seriously enough for my taste. Doesn’t this movie have enough to be as weighty if not more so than Spielberg’s AI?
Maybe the married couple were presented as the millionaire couple next door who look like their HH income is $120K, when in reality, their HH income is probably $225K. The partner maker of an AI data farm or what have you could be understated and geeky, but I was only getting understated. I like Johnny Depp a lot (I met him at a junket years ago) but this screenplay was a little flawed. After he gets shot and comes out of the hospital, about two minutes later, he’s just looking too “nothing happened” such that his wife says, “He just needs some rest.” Transitioning from the hospital to that scene was done well.
The character portrayed by Morgan Freeman didn’t seem too powerful either given the simple desk and chair where he is found. He’s a developer partner of a great AI computer? Okay, if you say so.
The dead man comes alive in the computer. Where was the music? Is this really a major love story? Ho-hum. It’s not a major anything. “Get out!” she yells at the friend (co-programmer of the AI system) the dying man charged with watching out for his wife (Jesus to John the Beloved). Such a heroic act, having victory over death, but where’s the music, the operatic pause.
Exponentially more god-like than a judge or a surgeon, the computer programmer become all knowing as he goes beyond the hardware into the world wide web. His wife builds him a home to live and grow. He does fine. He does excellently. How he’s doing is exponentially beyond expectations. The morality of the programmer removes the Artificial in the AI. The lame walk and sight is given to the blind.
Was the stage set at the beginning of the movie of the history of this couple’s diligence at keeping their relationship together? No. The drive of this man to love his wife, not to be himself but to assist in fulfilling her every wish (I’ll give the talk more at your convincing than mine) was not written along the way, but it becomes the surprise in the denouement. (As an aside, the dripping water under the copper latticework did not move me.)
The betrayal of a friend partly due to being beat up by antagonists and some ego stroking could have risen to a higher occasion. Because the antagonist defeated the protagonist, we have a tragedy here.
Was the Johnny Depp character really the protagonist? Well, he did dehumanize what I say in my introduction constitutes a human being. However, this goes back to my days before I wrote The Greatest Bible Study in Historical Accuracy by Steefen. Back then I was interested in Human Evolution, in wonder of the different hominids that co-existed for millions of years (the Australopithecus line and the Homo line in human origins). The morals of the Johnny Depp character made co-existence within reach--X-men and Humans, BUT humans repairing to superhuman incarnation. But, not to die and free oneself to the heavenly realm of discarnate entities would have to be resolved such that the repaired super human would be allowed to die and the computer programmer himself would have to be allowed to die. Was the Morgan Freeman character correct? No: the morality of the Johnny Depp Jesus figure was sufficient or could have been written to be even more acceptable and therefore more tragic since he did not attack and kill as his antagonists did.
Frankenstein. Was he creating monster? Are we monsters to those of the 1st century Common Era?
All future Jesuses become one with God?