|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Genre:||Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery|
|Laufzeit:||About 120 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
The rapid advances in technology bring us humans many advantages. But even if we now get our information faster, medical research is constantly reporting new important achievements, or some crimes that have been unpunished for a long time can finally be solved with the help of new, computer-based methods, technology also frightens many people. Finally, it also enables constant monitoring, promotes social isolation and is often used as a weapon. For Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) computer technology is a blessing for mankind despite all the dangers. He and his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) are on the verge of revolutionizing the field of artificial intelligence. A computer system, which is provided with human emotions and can therefore reflect independently, should help to improve the world.
The members of a radical underground organization see it differently. For them, the visions of people like Will Caster are the beginning of the end of mankind. And that's why they're doing everything they can to stop his work. When Will is hit by a radioactively contaminated bullet, the extremists seem to have reached their target. But with the help of her friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) Evelyn manages to successfully finish Will's experiment. In return, she merges the spirit of her dying husband with the new computer system. The artificial intelligence that results from this exceeds the scientists' wildest expectations with its abilities. But in her enthusiasm about this professional success and in her joy about having Will back with her at least in this way, Evelyn doesn't see what danger her invention threatens to become…
With the science fiction thriller "Transcendence" cameraman Wally Pfister makes his ambitious directorial debut. Yet the approach of history and the moral questions it raises are really interesting. The questions of what happens when people lose control of the technology they have created, or what achievements justify the abandonment of their own identity, provide a good basis for exciting cinema entertainment. If this is also stylistically implemented in a first-class way and can come up with a great cast, then nothing can go wrong anymore.
Too stupid only that screenwriter Jack Paglen has taken over a bit with his first filmed script. A story like this would not only have had to be told in a more clever and sophisticated way. A more tension-oriented plot structure would also have been necessary in order to adequately exploit the potential slumbering in the core of "Transcendence". But unfortunately Paglen's script loses itself too much in long-winded inconsistencies and doesn't follow the path consistently enough to convince even after the very successful beginning. In places where captivating tension and a stirring dramaturgy should prevail, unnecessary lengths and a too conventional plot dominate the action. That's really a shame because of the many well done aspects of the movie.
Nevertheless: the mostly bad critiques that "Transcendence" just got in the USA, Pfister's directing debut didn't deserve. Even if the film would have benefited from the streamlining of some scenes and a more clever elaboration of the story, the futuristic techno-thriller is neither badly played nor unbearably boring. The few obvious special effects are well implemented and the action, which is a bit too seldom used, is staged quite well. Moreover, Pfister manages very well, especially at the beginning, to build up a subliminal threatening atmosphere, through which a decent level of tension can be maintained even in the quieter moments. Certainly, "Transcendence" may be miles away from the class of Christopher Nolan, whose regular cameraman is Wally Pfister. But the artistic mega-flop that some people see in the work is far from the film. If you don't expect a lot of tempo, non-stop action or a big intellectual challenge, you'll get solid entertainment cinema that not only looks good and is solidly played, but also has some very good plot elements. And for this there is, with some small compromises, an absolutely satisfied one: worth seeing!
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