Cool idea, undeveloped story
I am in my mid forties and watched this movie with my fairly mature 12 year old son. My son was captivated by its images and ideas; he closed his eyes during the surgical parts and during a flashback scene when a professor-lecturer (Morgan Freeman) recounts that memory/legacy is carried on through reproduction. In this case, it is the sort of reproduction that one might see at a zoo - only in this case, it is several consecutive scenes all at once. Not offensive per se, but the kind of thing that would cause a 12 year old to look away and say, "gross".
The movie succeeds on the idea of: "is there a way to tap the unused potential of the human brain? If so, what would that look like?" That's a mighty cool question and could lead to quite a story line.
Regrettably, the screenwriters did not find a way to tap into that idea through the discovery of some ancient hidden formula, an undiscovered plant or place, something from space, or even something from science. Instead of letting us uncover an imaginative mystery like that as participants, the writers decided they needed to make us observers of drug trafficking and human mules.
And now because drugs and smuggling and profiteering are the subtext for the discovery of the portal that opens human brain capacity, the subsequent violence, control, and manipulation that surrounds the drug trade "fits". Sadly, the narrative of drug smuggling (and all that comes with it) in many ways overcomes the narrative we really care about: what does untapped human potential really look like?
Intriguingly, one of the talking points that parents and parents (as well as parents and kids) ought to have after seeing this movie relates to what happens to the main character: The more knowledge she has, the less she feels - and feels human. Her newfound and heightened awareness helps her to sense everything, but the more input she knows, the less capacity she has for empathy. As she notices this in herself, she ALMOST grieves its loss; but she has lost that capacity with the heightened data awareness she has.
Perhaps this is why every parent and teen OUGHT to see it in order to have the conversation: The more information one has, the less human one may become. The more one is tuned to stimulus and input, the less able one may be to empathize. Connection(s) is different than relationships. This movie gives some effective talking points for these kinds of conversations.