Film review: Transcendence (15, 85 min)

Transcendence: Dr Will Caster (Johnny Depp)
Transcendence: Dr Will Caster (Johnny Depp)
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Depp’s downloaded demise

Our relationship with technology takes a sinister turn in Wally Pfister’s sci-fi thriller based on a screenplay by Jack Paglen.

Dr Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is one of the pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence research and strives to create a machine with sentience, aided by his wife and fellow academic, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and best friend Max (Paul Bettany).

Some in the scientific community, including Evelyn and Max, question the wisdom of Will’s idealistic goals.

Violent extremists, who oppose technological advance, target Will and they shoot him with radioactive bullets that slowly poison the researcher.

As his body fails, Will takes the bold decision to upload his mind into a computer in the hope that his consciousness can scour the internet and acquire the medical knowledge to perform a miracle.

Instead, Will’s digital self becomes power-hungry and embarks on a quest to take over the world.

FBI agent Donald Buchanan (Cillian Murphy) and his team join forces with Evelyn and Max to avert disaster and destroy Will if necessary.

Forthright language, violence