I have seen the movie Transcendence a few times now. I've watched interviews featuring its director Wally Pfister and cast members Johnny Depp & Morgan Freeman. I've also read and watched movie reviews where people wail on the film for being things like "boring and bland" (see video below). All said and done, many viewers have said there is nothing terribly impressive about this $100 million budget film with a megastar cast.
However, viewed through what I call a "God-Lens," I think this movie is phenomenal! And the fact that it gets such terrible reviews by the general population is fantastically fitting as well. Here's what I mean:
Yeshua/Jesus...the very Son of God, was born in Bethlehem to a lowly carpenter rather than in a king's castle. He came serving rather than being served. Though rich, He became poor for our sake. Rather than overthrowing Roman occupiers who were oppressing His Jewish brethren, He preached that we should love our enemies. And instead of ruling and reigning from an earthly throne, He was crucified and killed.
Eliminate Your Enemy by Converting Your Enemy by Loving Your Enemy
Loving and serving is the warfare of Yeshua and NONE of this was what the Jewish world around Him expected. Instead, they awaited a conquering king who would finally put Rome in its place. This very disappointment probably contributed to Jesus being betrayed by one of his own followers (Judas). He was later denied by his right-hand man Peter. Before this, He was hated by the leaders of His people as they were envious and feared the control He might acquire (Matthew 27:18). This was all despite the many wonderful things Christ did for everyone, making this world a better place. All of this is SO applicable in the movie Transcendence!
[Spoiler Warning] In this movie, Will Caster (Johnny Depp's character) is easily a type of Christ and the concept of Transcendence itself can easily represent the Kingdom of God through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. It took Christ dying for the Holy Spirit to become available to all mankind and the same thing happens in this film. Disclaimer: By no means am I endorsing certain actors, "Hollywood" itself or what can come out of it. I'm also NOT saying this symbolism was the movie writer’s intent. I'm merely stepping back & seeing the DNA of Yehovah, The One True God, in all of His creation; including themes that filmmakers put in their films inadvertently.
Back to the story:
The friends closest to Will don't believe he will come back from death. They lose hope and begin to give up until Will makes contact. Eventually, Will appears in bodily form to his followers. As the transcendent "god" of this movie, Will chooses a very humble and unassuming place to begin building his kingdom (Name: Brightwood). Instantly you see a poor and rejected population here. These people are later healed and transformed and then used to help recruit others to receive the same. This is the very nature of the Kingdom of God!
I could go on and on with the parallels one could draw from this film but don't want to spoil it for anyone else more than I already have. My recommendation for anyone watching Transcendence is this:
Rather than looking to be highly entertained by thrills (e.g. the great battle scenes of a conquering king), look to gain insight into how God actually operates. Look for Jesus and His love for His church.
Some main God-themes to take away from this film are that Yehovah is good, He is for us and not against us. His motives are pure and He desires that we humans be a part of His process of bringing health & healing to this world and its people. Yehovah desires to transcend and transform us all by giving us supernatural strengths and abilities that go far beyond our own imaginations.
Conference Attendee: "So you want to create a god?"
Will Caster: "That's a good question. Isn't that what man has always done?"
Temple Attendees: “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
Yeshua: "Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?"