Transcendence

The future is a bleak and terrifying place. It’s already been established in countless films that no matter what we do, we’re doomed, so we might as well just embrace it. There’s no hoverboards, okay? You’re not going to be cruising down the street like Marty McFly, drinking your crazy Pepsi in the far-off glamorous land of 2015. It’s far more likely that we’re either going to bow down to our ape overlords after resisting but ultimately giving up because resistance is futile, or witness the rise of the machines. The singularity is coming.

The new trailer for Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence is spelling out exactly what that means for Johnny Depp and his fellow scientists clearer than ever (It’s destruction). The film follows a brilliant scientist only known at this point as Will (Depp), who is working toward building the singularity — a complex computer system advanced far beyond the knowledge of all other technology or mankind. He and his team have already made headway and are presenting their ideas at a TED-like conference when a group of anti-AI terrorists (led by Kate Mara) take on the dual task of his assassination and destroying his research.

What they don’t anticipate is that before Will dies, he has some grand plans for his legacy. His very being and consciousness is uploaded into the computer before his body stops working; he becomes transcendent. Unlike other looks at the film, this trailer shows the extent of fulfilling Will’s dying wish. Being omnipresent and all-knowing means his power also has no limits — and that equals worldwide chaos with an unchecked ruler.

The result is part sci-fi, part apocalyptic destruction story. But the make-or-break factor for the film is whether or not it will veer to far into cautionary tale territory. There are plenty of “we told you so” moments from the anti-AI group already featured in the trailer even before Will’s conciousness starts getting out of control, and by the trailer’s end even his own team is firmly planted on the “what hath we wrought” team. It’s a compelling story though, and one that looks like it will be a sight to behold.

Transcendence is in theaters April 8th.


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