Film review: Transcendence

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Man’s 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 he strives to create a machine with sentience, aided by his wife and fellow academic, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and best friend Max (Paul Bettany).

Undated Film Still Handout from Transcendence. Pictured: JOHNNY DEPP as Will Caster. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Entertainment Film. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from Transcendence. Pictured: JOHNNY DEPP as Will Caster. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Entertainment Film. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Some in the scientific community, including Evelyn and Max, question the wisdom of Will’s idealistic goals. Violent extremists, who oppose technological advancement, target Will and they shoot him with radioactive bullets that slowly poison the researcher.

As his body fails, Will boldly decides to upload his mind into a computer in the hope his consciousness can scour the internet and get the medical knowledge to perform a miracle.

Instead, Will’s digital self becomes power-hungry and he 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.