The autopsy reports for the slow death of this movie Transcendence are inconclusive.If I watch films that haven’t done well in the box office, I find I approach it less like a scientist hypothesizing accuracy and success and more as a coroner or homicide detective would. What caused this tragedy? I often agree with the Tomato rating, but this time I found a film with excellent actors, decent writing, great directing & effects, a thoughtful story and meaningful relationships. It wasn’t the haphazard train wreck that I guess I was expecting. It certainly wasn’t the schizophrenic Secret Window. And it wasn’t The Tourist.
The puzzle could be solved in timing. As with all things, timing is everything. Perhaps it was released too soon after the hype of Jonze’s Her since it may have a few similar themes but a vastly different story and outcomes. Ads also made it look like an action thriller. Not true. It’s a sci-fi drama – a thinker.
Blake Snyder, film expert, renowned teacher, and author of the book “Save the Cat” would perhaps call a film that seeks the co-dependence of the brain and technology a “double mumbo jumbo.” It’s like the movie Signs asking people to believe in both God and aliens. For some, that’s a stretch.My brilliant sister Annie Mae believes that people might have had a hard time accepting an intelligent film without sex or a ton of senseless violence. The marriage relationship in the film remains one of deep love and faithfulness. The best friend character is not out to sabotage the marriage or woo the girl. The plot makes you think.To seek the beyond… A higher power …to become …to achieve the enlightenment of soul…
This film poses the thoughtful and future plausible attempts at true AI: artificial intelligence via the symbiotic and simultaneous merging of tech with humanity. It’s bionic. The birth of AI is ever the prequel to The Matrix or Terminator, or RoboCop or IRobot. It’s the moral dilemma ever stemming from artificial creation, from plastic limbs and pacemakers to cloning technology: are we playing God? Can tech register or muster a soul? Will the corruption of pure motives always end in tragedy?
Don’t forget Shawshank tanked in the theater but blossomed into its cult classic status. There is still hope for these lesser loved post- release weekend.