This is Hollywood's version of Her - meaning it is shallow and superficially deep, filled with pseudo-pop psychology. But worse than all that the acting was almost uniformly bad, the ending was a cowardly cop-out, the directing was a mess and the writing beyond illogical. Seriously, if I was harsh this is possibly the worst movie of the year so far.
First time director Wally Pfister was sadly in over his head and I won't be surprised if Johnny Depp or even Morgan Freeman was over-riding the director. These two were barely registering a presence. Freeman was just coasting through his scenes, and as for Depp, I will get to him soon. Pfister's direction was mediocre and the action scenes were like a poor man's Michael Bay - at best; even the narrative itself was poorly structured. The latter of which, writer Jack Paglen has to bear some - or even most - of the responsibility.
The whole script was a total superficial honky-tonk Hollywood schtick catered to the lowest denominator. Is that why Depp checked-out? The premise was good, the potential was there, but with such a common subject matter these days there needs to be originality to engage the audience. The potential for originality was there, but the execution was lame, became unoriginal, and then it could had at least be interesting, but Paglen and Pfister copped out at the end and it became...sickeningly Hollywood.
Now we come to Depp. When was the last time he made a good movie? Edwards Scissorshands? Pirates of Caribbean (the first instalment)? Scarlett Johansson was leaps and bounds, valleys and mountains, planets and galaxies ahead of Depp as an AI, and she was not even onscreen! There barely was any chemistry between him and Rebecca Hall. And in all seriousness, the lead actor should actually go to Paul Bettany both in terms of screen time, commitment to role and audience-engagement. Oh, and Kate Mara is in danger of getting pigeon-holed.
I am just thankful that I did not fork out for IMAX.