BY ELLEN ROSSOW
Singing blood-thirsty barber. Disfigured lovesick hedge-trimmer. Rum-loving pirate. Neurotic tea-enthusiast. Chocolate lover with ‘daddy’ issues. When it comes to the strange, uncomfortable and flashy it seems there is no better fit than Johnny Depp.
While this seems to have been the case for years, fans may be surprised by his newest performance.
“Transcendence” hit theaters in mid-April with Johnny Depp playing the closest thing to an average man audiences have seen him portray since “The Rum Diary” in 2011.
The story follows Depp’s character, Dr. Will Caster, and his wife as they not only study the complexity that is neuroscience, but struggle with mortality and the ethical implications of their rapidly advancing technology as well.
Essentially, the film forces the question: “How far is too far?” As the main characters struggle with the ability to essentially play God.
While the story itself is interesting, “Transcendence” opened with a very weak response in the box office. The movie also got poor reviews on a majority of online review-based websites.
It’s lack of support in the box office was probably due to the lack of hype for the film in general, but may also be due to Depp’s recent flops.
The film’s less-than-enthusiastic reviews, however, are based in truth.
For this reviewer, it is obvious that the film put the creative energy into making the high-tech aspect come to life. The use of digital effects was vast and rather intriguing, but no amount of pretty visual effects can make up for what “Transcendence” lacks in story development.
While the story of love, death and science’s role in the two had potential to be a beautiful thing, this film was cluttered with too many ideas that fought for the spotlight.
Overall, “Transcendence” had potential to be a unique and beautiful piece of film, but it fell short. It focused its attention on too many ideas and featured an ending that seemed to veer completely off of what the entire film had been about. The film also seemed to care more about visual imagery than anything else.
At the end of the day, perhaps casting Depp wasn’t too far off. “Transcendence” was strange, uncomfortable and unnecessarily flashy.