Skip to main content

See also:

Transcendence – Should humanity take the next step of evolution?

Is further evolution a necessary step?
Is further evolution a necessary step?
Warner Bros

Transcendence

Rating:
Star4
Star
Star
Star
Star

If you’re a diehard SCIFI fan and appreciate deep and thoughtful analysis of the benefits of advanced evolution via artificial intelligence go see Transcendence. If not, you still may find the love story sad but intriguing.
Johnny Depp is a brilliant scientist who has supposedly transferred a chimp’s consciousness into a computer. But the question remains: did Depp (Will Caster) actually achieve the accomplishment or make a substandard copy of the animal’s mind as a colleague fears? If so, what Depp is pushing to create might endanger all once it has access to the internet. If you’re not creating an exact copy just what life are you creating?
The envelope is pushed further when Will Caster is shot by a bullet containing radiation. The attacker, obviously not thrilled Caster has decided to play god, wants to eliminate potential and promised transcendent feats by the skilled scientist. Yet, as Depp’s character laments, the attacker is ironically also willing to take a life of a scientist in order to save lives.
As Caster succumbs to sickness, his wife Evelyn (played by Rebecca Hall) decides to advance her husband’s dream by volunteering him for transcendence. With his consciousness uploaded, Evelyn hopes for her husband to return to her via online reanimation. When he does, Evelyn finds his return is not all she hoped as she remains physically disconnected. And when Caster suggests she set up an underground laboratory in the middle of nowhere, Evelyn begins to question her husband’s motivations. Is he really inside the computer? Did her husband really want to better humanity? Or, as the film later reveals, is the consciousness of her husband ultimately motivated to bring his wife’s dreams to fruition?
Evelyn wanted to restore nature to its original pure state and Caster begins to do just that but he also hooks his consciousness into living humans creating an eerie scenario where men stumble about as zombies under the control of the scientist. Eventually, Caster finds a way to reanimate his body - at least a pretty good copy of it - and this is where Evelyn must abandon her dream of reuniting with her husband after his death. She fears that her husband’s plan will affect humanity in unnatural ways.
It is a bitter moment in this love affair when Evelyn decides to infect Caster for the good of all thus killing herself, Caster and his transcendent network. It is sad to see Caster die once again in the arms of his dead lover because it was the scientist’s wish to do anything possible to remain with his wife. It is also sad to see the benefits of Caster’s plans, a reboot of nature, falling to the wayside thus dooming humanity to remain in its polluted confines. Along with the wife’s death go her dreams to restore nature. Was she correct to assume transcendence would really doom humanity?