Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

The Gorehound Reviews: Transcendence (’14)

Cinematically, this movie was a breath of fresh air. Science fiction makes us dream in different directions than usual. We all have expectations for the future based on what we know or have experienced but delving into another persons dream, say the director of Transcendence, Wally Pfister, we see something that we have thought about before but from  a different angle. Isn’t this movie the same exact plot as  the Terminator series? Robots taking over the world? But this film is more down to earth and rational. Is it okay for robots to take over the earth? What if robots are humans? This film proposes these queries.


It wasn’t a blockbuster. The Gorehound saw the trailer the first week it came out and was excited. It didn’t develop much attention which then slipped under the radar. It wasn’t until a Saturday afternoon stroll through Family Video that the Gorehound walked past this film with Johnny Depp on the cover. “Wasn’t this that sci-fi flick from the trailer I watched months ago?” thought the Gorehound, “How have I not heard anything about it?” Because apparently it wasn’t very good. Well how can that be with Christopher Nolan’s protege, Pfister, helming his directorial debut? Surely the critics must have been mistaken.

ct-cth-transcendence-jpg-b-jpg-20140416Like I said earlier, this film was refreshing. Solid science fiction making the audience ponder our inhibitions and expectations. What if Y2K actually helped humanity? What if robots taking over the world, actually helped us? We like to be open-minded but it can be difficult without being exposed to other people’s point-of-views. That’s why cinema is beautiful: because the audience get’s to listen to other people passively, so that we can take it in without feeling the need to react or retort.

Some preliminary reviews of the movie led the Gorehound to believe that this would be a religious movie. Some reviews on claim, “if you’re religious you probably won’t like this movie”. The Gorehound is firm believer but still open to alternative viewpoints (like that time he watched V for Vendetta and considered anarchy). It upsets me to find fellow movie-goers see movies through a filter which separates scenes into “pro-” or “anti-religion”. If you’re looking for movies with a single point of view, go to an activist group, not movies released for entertainment.

This movie reminded me a lot of Danny Boyle’s Sunshine: A great flick with beautiful visuals, lovely actors (compliments to Rose Byrne), and a fascinating story. There may be many plot holes and some things could have been better but it isn’t right to focus on logic in cinema. This movie is beautiful. 4/5


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