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Joyce and Don Fowler

* * 1/2 (Don)

* * * (Joyce)

 

Joyce enjoyed the outlandish, out-of-control plot more than I did.

“It is science fiction, you know!” she scolded me when I groaned at some of the ridiculous plot turns.

Johnny Depp plays Dr. Will Caster, developer of PINN (Physically Independent Neutral Network), who along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) is the leading proponent of artificial intelligence.

A group of protesters who believe that Caster’s work with computers will destroy humanity attack the project and shoot him with a bullet that sends radiation through his body, leaving him only a short time to live.

Evelyn and colleague Max Waters (Paul Bettany) work feverishly to upload his intelligence into a computer.

Morgan Freeman, playing Joseph Tagger, slides in and out of the action, but the writers never clarify his role or position.

Caster grows more powerful at every turn, taking control of the project and the worldwide computer network. It is soon difficult to determine the good guys from the bad guys. Caster wants to use his powers to cure cancer and advance technology, while the protesters fear that his computer programs will destroy humanity and the environment.

His allies, and eventually his wife, question his power.

The project ends up two years later in the desert town of Brightwood, which its residents call Blightwood. How nobody seemed to be aware of what was happening or tried to stop it is one of the many outlandish parts of the movie.

It all leads to the big showdown at the underground site, and what looks like a giant solar power farm.

This goes on for two hours. If you like science fiction, you may enjoy it. It sure is a different type casting for Johnny Depp.

Rated PG-13, with some violence and profanity.


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