I think it’s always interesting to look at films in context. Looking at the time in which a film is made, what is its contemporary relevance? Is it saying something about the specific age it is made, a particular moment, or simply humanity in general?
Could a film — could Transcendence — have been made only at this time?
Well, in Transcendence‘s case, certainly not. We’ve had AI/rapidly advancing technology/technological apocalypse films many, many times before. But there does seem to be a certain sense of appropriateness to making it now, at a time when most people are increasingly reliant on handheld versions of what fifteen years ago would have been supercomputers. A time when technology is so poorly understood that serious politicians talk sincerely about filtering out the bad parts of the internet.