Since strapping on the pirates outfit in 2003, the eclectic actor Johnny Depp's movies have gone on to gross billions of dollars, making him one of the most marketable actors in Hollywood, and rightfully so. The luxury afforded to such actors is the opportunity to do any movie that he chooses; the question is why Mr. Depp chooses the movies he does. Transcendence, from first time director Wally Pfister, who was Christopher Nolan's cinematographer for the past twelve years, seems to be a great choice of roles for the 50 year old actor, but as with many things that involve Christopher Nolan, looks sometimes can be deceiving. Transcendence leaves a lot to be desired.
Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is an artificial intelligence researcher who, along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), are trying to create a machine which possesses technological singularity. To possess this would mean that the machine would have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature. A radical terrorist group named RIFT lead by a woman named Bree (Kate Mara) plan a series of attacks across the country on labs whose technological work threatens to unleash this type of A.I. and threaten the future of the human race. After completing a speech on the topic of his research, Will is shot by a RIFT soldier and hospitalized.