Must-Watch: TRANSCENDENCE Trailer Starring Johnny Depp

Transcendence, the upcoming sci-fi thriller directed by Wally Pfister, tells the story of a man whose power becomes unstoppable when he combines his humanity with artificial intelligence. The movie stars Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, the brilliant scientist who creates the artificial intelligence program. Additional stars include Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany and Rebecca Hall.

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Plot Summary

The trailer for Transcendence begins with Will (Depp) explaining his revolutionary program that allows people to download themselves into a computer, reaching transcendence. He is a leader at his technology company and this is an incredible breakthrough.  An anti-technology group called Rift, attacks the scientist with a radioactive bullet.  He is left terminally ill and comatose from the attack. Though his body is ill, his mind is still functioning. Will’s wife and colleague Evelyn (Hall), along with fellow scientist Max Waters (Bettany), use the program that Will created to download his thoughts and memories into a computer.

A word of caution — much like some other trailers we’ve reviewed recently, this trailer treads slightly into spoiler territory with some of the sound bites and video clips used. While it can be inferred what will happen to Will and those around him, the trailer thankfully doesn’t outright state it. It balances right on the line between just enough plot and too much. With that being said, a lot of plot points are revealed throughout the trailer. So, if you prefer to be completely surprised, avoid watching the trailer.

The trailer does a nice job of setting the tone of the movie. With the quick cuts and music, it’s clear that Transcendence will be a thriller. The first 30 seconds are calm as Depp’s character explains the program. Then, with the sound of a gunshot echoing, it feels almost as if it’s a race against the clock. It appears to be very fast-paced with enough action to balance out the large amounts of information that are sure to be included in the dialogue.

Conflicting Views

Although it does give away a fair amount of chunk, the trailer does clearly address the main conflict in the film. The morality and ethical implications of downloading Will’s body into his artificial intelligence are a concern for some of the scientists, as well as Rift. The project software is supposed to be helpful. However, when scientists complete the process, what seems like an amazing technological advancement, is soon shown to be a dangerous weapon.

Transcendence is labeled as a sci-fi film because it deals with artificial intelligence and technology that’s fairly futuristic. There is a lot of information in the trailer. It condenses what the viewer has two hours to understand into two minutes. Between learning about the program and other expository elements including the antagonistic anti-technology group, the trailer is pretty overwhelming. It may take a couple of views to fully grasp what will be happening in the movie.

Release Date 

Transcendence will be released on April 18, 2014, in theaters and IMAX. While the trailer gives away numerous plot points, there is still enough left for viewers to enjoy the experience. Though the trailer might be a bit overwhelming the first time you see it, it does make it clear that the movie will be an intense, fast-paced thriller. This is one you want to be sure to check out.

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The Author

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington

Scott Huntington is a writer, reporter, blogger, and movie-geek. He currently lives in PA and with his wife and son, writing about movies and beyond. Follow Scott at @SMHuntington or check out his blog,