MovieBob - Intermission
The 5 Dumbest Things In Transcendence

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 18 Apr 2014 16:00
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transcendence johnny depp

4. The movie doesn't know how computers, the Internet, wifi or downloading speeds actually work

I'm usually the guy who says that things like this don't matter if you've got a good story to tell, but there's a limit. And also Transcendence doesn't have a good story to tell.

Early on, Depp's character (when still human) uses a net of copper mesh to turn his wife's flower garden into a wifi dead-spot (her request.) Later, the R.I.F.T. gang uses a similar net to cut off his wireless access to one of his nanotech/human hybrids by stretching it across a tunnel - severing the connection. So... the wifi signal that was penetrating the roof of the tunnel vertically just fine before is now not because you've cut off access... horizontally?

Also, when Rebecca Hall needs to transfer Depp's (apparently massive) digital consciousness out of her home setup before R.I.F.T. arrives to destroy it, it takes a few seconds; but later Depp him/it/self (now backed up by a data-center memory bank the size of a small city) somehow only has enough time/energy to either download a Hall's injured body into his system, saving them both or download a bio/digital virus she's been injected with that will kill them both, thus stopping his world-conquest plans (and saving Paul Bettany's "good" scientist from being executed by R.I.F.T.) It doesn't even make science-fiction sense that he can't just do both things.

5. The movie doesn't know how electricity works, either.

At the climax of the film, Cyber Johnny Depp can only be defeated by a virus that knocks his program out of existence. Because he had merged with the entirety of The Internet by then, the entire world loses The Info Superhighway, leading to post-apocalyptic dystopia where people use broken laptops as doorstops just in case a movie camera is around looking for cheesy, obvious symbolism. This means there's no electricity - or maybe there is in some places, but it's all rumors and hearsay.

Wait... how does that work?

I get how blowing up The Internet killed Cyber Johnny Depp, but how did it make all the electricity go away? Did turning off cyberspace make all the waterfalls power hydroelectric-generator turbines stop flowing? Did it render oil and coal inert and unusable for generating electricity? Did the sun go out? Did the wind stop? Did every storage battery simultaneously empty?

There are many more dumb plot points, but let's just stop here and hope there won't be a remake in 25 years. I'm looking at you Mrs. Doubtfire.

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