How Come No One Is Talking About Transcendence’s Weird Clothes?

By now, everyone knows the deal with Transcendence: Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), while making strides in the field of artificial intelligence, is killed by anti-AI loonies, forcing those who love him to upload his consciousness and connect it to the internet.

This premise invites obvious comparisons to last year’s Her. It deals with the repercussions of giving AI access to the culmination of human knowledge through the internet, and it explores how a person–in Transcendence‘s case, it’s wife Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall)–could be in love with a bodyless, all-knowing entity.

But there’s one way that these movies are similar that no one seems to be talking about: They both have super weird fashion choices. In Her‘s case, it’s intentional. The movie’s affininty for high-waisted pants show that we’re not exactly in the here-and-now. With Transcendence, I’m not exactly sure what’s going on.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

First, off, let me say that I’m no fashion expert.  Quite the opposite, in fact. That might mean that I’m really in no position to judge, but I say that if the clothes were weird enough for me to even notice, something must be very off.

Really, it comes down to this photo.


I really wish I could make this super-huge without it being blurry, so you could see these outfits in all their glorious detail. Start all the way on the right, with Evelyn. Is it me, or does the top half of her not really match the bottom half of her? From the waist up, with the Nehru collar and the shoulder pads, she looks like Ms. Serious Businesswoman. But the tapered, ankle-length pants and Toms look more Ms. Suburban Mom on Saturday Afternoon. Taken together it makes her look really hippy, which she most certainly is not, and it’s a confusing look all-around. Then again, what does one wear to show old friends around your high-tech compound with your newly digitized husband?

Poor Agent Buchanan (Cillian Murphy) there in the middle doesn’t have it any better. Isn’t that tan suit the type of thing that everyone made fun of Al Gore for wearing during the 2000 election? And while the suit may be laid-back and Earthy, the shirt–though it may be hard to tell from this photo–is actually ’80s-guy-on-Wall-Street blue (though it doesn’t have the contrasting white collar). The suit is saying take-it-slow, the shirt is saying go-go-go.

Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman) on the left looks like he got off easy. The jacket may be what the kids are calling normcore these days, but the rest of it looks at least like it all came out of the same closet. But really, it’s because Tagger already busted out his bizarre outfit earlier in the film.


To me, he looks like a reverse pumpkin, with the orange jacket on top and green pants. (It’s hard to tell, but the pants are a Hunter green.) Starting from the inside, there’s a business casual dress shirt. Then a casual-casual knit vest that’s more Mr. Rogers than something you’d wear as part of a three-piece ensemble. Then there’s the green suit pants–back to business again. Then that orange jacket, which I don’t know what it is really except that it looks like it came from the set of Godspell.

Only Will Caster gets away unscathed. Then again, he’s hooked up to all of the world’s knowledge, so there must’ve been some good fashion advice in there somewhere.