Transcendence: Depp disappoints

Transcendence features big names including Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy
Transcendence features big names including Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy
Transcendence features big names including Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy

A chance for the amazing Johnny Depp to break away from the Disney franchise ends up a listless role in an over-complicated story


Doctor Will Caster, who is given a week to live, pursues immortality by downloading his consciousness into a super computer.
This is an interesting storyline but you might find, like I did, it ends up a dry and confusing two-hour botch.

Depp’s Robotic Acting

A talent such as Johnny Depp rarely struggles to shine in a film regardless of his co-stars but, be it because of the role he plays or the lack of make-up he is used to, we see an abysmal performance from him.

Depp plays the role of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) entity, portraying no emotion. His listless character and lack of charisma in the role could be the reason many found him boring in this film.

I guess you could argue that he played his role as a computer so well that the monotony could be a reflection of his success.

The Convoluted Premise

Everybody loves a great sci-fi movie about technology taking over the human race; we’ve seen the appeal of technophobia from movies such as I, Robot and Eagle Eye. As complex as those were, this movie takes the cake with the most pointlessly-confusing plot in recent sci-fi films.


While Transcendence has an appealing trailer and intriguing storyline, director Wally Pfister has unfortunately confounded many with a movie full of technical jargon and unnecessary detail. It is a classic case of a great idea being executed poorly and surprisingly so, given the decent cast.

Johnny Depp’s performance seems a bit predictable
Johnny Depp’s performance seems a bit predictable

Morgan Freeman, Supporting Superstar?

If you need something to look forward to, Morgan Freeman plays Joseph Tagger, Depp’s supporting friend and co-worker. Freeman has few scenes and few lines but he never fails to deliver in the grandeur of his voice and surprising comedic talent. In fact, it may be reminiscent of the subtle humour of The Shawshank Redemption.

A slow film overall, many will see Transcendence as a let-down, despite all the star power it has. Nonetheless, little sparks of brilliance from Depp and Freeman are highlights.

At the screening I attended, the entire story was probably never understood by the audience.

By Basil Lee


DIRECTOR: Wally Pfister
STARRING: Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy & Kate Mara
RUN LENGTH: 119 min