Johnny Depp's new science fiction thriller Transcendence isn't even out yet in most countries but box office prospects are looking shaky for its upcoming debut weekend. With its intriguing premise and dark moral message, the film was supposed to be simultaneously Depp's comeback after the critically trashed Lone Ranger and first foray into leading a sci-fi film but has unfortunately failed to ignite reviewers' imaginations so far.

Johnny Depp Transcendence
Depp Undergoes An Eerie Cyber Transformation In 'Transcendence.'

Transcendence sees Depp star as scientist Dr. Will Caster, a computer genius at the forefront of artificial intelligence research before he is taken out by an anti-technology activist. Determined not to die, the scientist and his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) rush to find a way to upload his consciousness so that he can communicate even beyond the grave. However, not everybody is certain of what will happen if they succeed, especially as Carter's mind begins to evolve and become more powerful than he could have ever dreamed.

Watch The 'Transcendence' Trailer:

Although NY Daily News has no beef with the first half of the film, noting the efficacy of Depp's "supremely weird" transformation into a cyber-being, it is decided that "the film implodes" in the later scenes, ruling "It doesn't make much sense when Will's creating particles to float up from the ground and impact the atmosphere. The limitations of the story become obvious, battling the energy and verve Pfister's plugged into."

See pictures from the Los Angeles 'Transcendence' premiere in our gallery.

The Guardian believes that the film casting was just plain wrong for Depp, saying the actor is "certainly not given much to chew on this sleek but insubstantial sci-fi thriller," before later adding "A digitized Oz, Depp stares down stiffly, bereft of any inner turmoil that might have allowed him to turn this mad scientist riff into something more interesting."

Johnny Depp Transcendence Wally Pfister
Most Critics Haven't Been Able To Abandon Their Cynicism Long Enough To Be Seduced By Depp' Sci-Fi Foray.

The finer details of the plot and exactly how Caster's mind is uploaded also becomes the focus of cynicism too: "the film is unwilling to raise any questions, or prompt any train of thought, that cannot immediately be triangulated and tabbed back to its respective plot algorithm."

"Johnny Depp's name will have to be counted upon to lure mainstream crowds on opening weekend, but this big Warner Bros. release will prove too demanding, perplexing and egg-headed for widespread popularity," scorns THR. Reviewer Todd McCarthy also notes that "Hall is the one actor here who's challenged and pushed to any emotional extremes, and her intelligent, alert and unpredictable bearing is very welcome," yet fails to understand why her character would stand by the increasingly villainous Caster: "Is she blinded by her love for and commitment to her genius mate to carry out his instructions no matter what?"

Transcendence Paul Bettany Rebecca Hall
Paul Bettany & Rebecca Hall Provide Solid Supporting Roles In 'Transcendence.'

Of course, the movie could pull a World War Z and storm the box office despite a slew of negative critical comments; a phenomenon the 50 year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star will have to rely upon in order to prevent the film going down as another big-budget, embarrassing flop.

Transcendence will be released on the 18th April in the US and on the 25th April in the UK.

More: Johnny Depp has a disturbing experience promoting 'Transcendence' in China.

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Transcendence Poster
'Transcendence' WIll Be Released Tomorrow In The US.