For this month Monthly Murphy, I am going to review Cillian’s latest movie, Transcendence.

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Summary from imdb:

As Dr. Will Caster works toward his goal of creating an omniscient, sentient machine, a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent him from establishing a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.

TranscendenceWarning: If you are planning to watch the movie and doesn’t want to be doubted by my review…Don’t read the rest of my post. There’s no spoiler but I don’t have a lot of good things to say about the movie.

For a movie I have been waiting for since last year, Transcendence is a disappointment. The first comment I had after I watched the the movie was “it is a waste of great actors“. There are a lot of great talent in the movie, everyone is capable of great acting but the script doesn’t explore their talent to the fullest. I understand if Johnny Deep is asked to has less emotion because he is nothing but a computer software…they have Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy there! The two are reduced to play something that any not actors can easily do! The only one stand out for me is Paul Bettany, he totally steals the show! He shows true emotion as real human being. It’s a shame that they have four great actors but only one actor is given a chance to show his ability.

Throughout the movie, I have a feeling that Cillian might say no to his role if the movie wasn’t directed by Wally Pfister and produced by Christopher Nolan. Cillian plays as Agent Buchanan, an FBI agent who helps Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman) to investigate the terrorist act which attacks so many artificial intelligent research centres. There’s really nothing special to see. Even his two minute role in TRON was more memorable than here. Seriously…they can just hire any actor for the role of Agent Buchanan. The same goes to Morgan Freeman and Johnny Deep. Rebecca Hall is quite good but still not memorable.

Now, let’s talk a bit about Paul Bettany…fortunately he saved the movie (for me). He plays brilliantly (as always). Although I still hold my breath every time I see Cillian on the screen (he is still a delight to see) but he is not at his best performance while my second favorite actor (I watched Transcendence because of both Cillian and Paul) still at his best performance…not as great as when he was in Margin Call but still better than the rest of the actor.

 As for the plot it self…it has TOO many plot holes and feels like it’s all over the place. One minute it’s about this and then the next minute it’s about something else. And there are parts that I feel TOO impossible to happen. Uploading someone into computer feels more real than the idea of building a sophisticated underground facility in just two years. It’s crazy!! and then suddenly they are able to make nanotechnology. The plot is forcing things to move TOO fast. It feels like Jack Paglen (the writer) wants to share this amazing AI world without thinking realistically…and then out of no where the story turns into super human ability. He creates an impossible imagination that runs everywhere without clear destination.

I try to like the movie…I seriously try because the main idea is really good but the execution is terrible. It can be a great movie if only the plot doesn’t shift too much. Paglen needs to learn how to write a good movie plot to Nolan.

I wish Cillian and Paul can meet again in another movie where the two can act at their best…it would definitely be one of my favorite movies. Transcendence hasn’t given me that pleasure yet.

Movie Detail:

Title: Transcendence
Director: Wally Pfister
Writer: Jack Paglen
Staring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara
Rating: 2 stars

My two favorite actors


17 thoughts on “Transcendence

  1. Well I didn’t know there’s Cillian when I watched this movie. I immediately thought ‘Oh Novia’s fave actor!’ ahah. I actually think the film isn’t bad. I know I can’t really imagine uploading someone to a computer, but the thought of husband and wife finalizing their dreams is kind of sweet, though ended badly. Agree with Bettany, he’s always awesome (and handsome).

    1. Hahaha…I know from the beginning 😉

      For me uploading someone isn’t the problem, the problem is in how unrealistic everything is. seriously, no human can built such facility in just 2 years!! Just to dig the land to make underground building will takes months. there’s a limit to wild imagination.

      The grand idea is good…but the execution is bad.

      Hear hear 🙂 He is so underrated.

  2. I forgot Cillian is in this. I might see this when it’s out on dvd, not really that interested in seeing it on the big screen.

    Btw, I saw clips of Toby Stephens’ older films ‘Cambridge Spies’ and lo and behold, there’s a scene of him w/ Bettany there. I immediately thought of you 😉

    1. Yeah…I agree, it’s better to watch it in DVD. I like the idea but it doesn’t deliver well.

      Paul never plays in a movie called Cambridge Spies (as far as I remember) and I look it up in wikipedia, he indeed never plays in a movie with that title. Maybe someone that looks like him?

        1. Whoa…the first pic, he looks so much like Paul!! They could play brothers 😉 He played in Starter for 10, I don’t remember him at all.

          Benny is only in 1 episode 😦

          1. Ahah, that’s why I thought it was him!! He played Mr Bingley in Pride & Prejudice in 2005. When he came on screen, he almost got in a fight w/ Toby’s character. It’s really an interesting series about Cambridge students recruited as spies. I’ll make sure to do some screen captures of Benny when he shows up, ahahaha.

    1. He always stole the show. He made a fan out of me when he played Silas in The da Vinci Code and outshone Tom Hanks (which is also my fav actor)

      I am looking forward to see him as The Vision 🙂 … at time like this (when my fav actor is in it) I will watch superhero movie in the cinema 😉

    1. I know…When I watched Tinker Tailor Soldier spy, I think the movie was boring BUT at least it was fun watching the performance of the actors, the script was good in stimulating their acting ability. Transcendence has many great actors and can actually be a great movie.

  3. After I saw the preview, I had a feeling it would be a disappointment, but I still hoped. Now I’ll wait for the DVD to come out and not waste the money. Sorry it was such a letdown. Like you said, a waste of good actors and a good director.

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