"Transcendence" is much too lofty a title for a film that is rarely, if ever, transcendent. The directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister (2012's "The Dark Knight Rises"), this cautionary sci-fi thriller is something of a muddled mess. Unable to make up its mind about what it wants to be and what it wants to say, Pfister and first-time screenwriter Jack Paglen try to hypocritically have things both ways. Is this a modern-day story of the apocalypse? A tale of ultimate worldly rejuvenation? Why is there such a heavy reliance on CGI to tell a staunchly anti-technology allegory? "Transcendence" goes back and forth throughout, bereft of a fixed vision and a singular creative point of view.
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