Christopher Nolan is a very talented filmmaker; movies like The Prestige, Memento and The Dark Knight has put him on my list of all-time favorite directors, now his latest movie Interstellar moves just a bit out of his comfort zone but is still a damn fine movie.
I was able to see this movie completely spoiler free with but a vague idea about mankind trying escape a dying earth, so this brief review will do its best to not give much away and ruin it for anyone else.
At sometime in the future, we are never given dates, the good ole Earth is going through its last days as society has broken down to the point where getting enough food to eat has become civilization’s sole goal. Massive dust storms reminiscent of those from the 30s during the Dust Bowl plague the planet as crop after crop start failing. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a farmer with two children and he is deeply concerned about their future as in “Will they have one?” When strange events on the farm lead him and his daughter to the middle of nowhere things begin to get interesting, they discover a secret NASA base run by Professor Brand (Michael Caine) who has plans on saving the human race and it just so happens that he needs a good pilot for their rocket. Wow, turns out Cooper use to be a test pilot for NASA, isn’t that a huge coincidence…or is it?
The big problem with this mission is that due to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity a mission of years for the crew could turn out to be decades gone by for those back on Earth. Can a father abandon his family to possibly save them as well as humanity? Will the power of love give Cooper the strength and courage to find his way home?
Yeah, there is really my biggest beef with the film. Nolan is entering the rarefied air of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick, dealing with tough scientific quantum concepts and yet we spend much of our time wondering if his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy as young Murph and Jessica Chastain as the older Murph) will ever forgive him for leaving. I will freely admit to tearing up during some of these heartwarming moments but in a movie clocking in at almost three hours some of it could have been trimmed. Even Anne Hathaway’s Amelia Brand had her emotions amped up for some reason, it sure would have been nice to have a female character who made decisions based on the science and not the heart while the guy got all gooey instead.
What I Really Enjoyed:
• The robots, their design was just so damn cool, with almost a nod to Douglas Adam’s Marvin.
• The cast, pretty much all of them put in outstanding performances special shout out to Mackenzie Foy
• Space is shown to be awesome, tedious, and very dangerous.
• The alien landscapes where simply awe inspiring at times
What Didn’t Work For Me:
• I hate watching one person explain the simple basics of the science to another who he himself would certainly know what they are talking about. It just reeks with “This is for the dumb audience member!”
• The ending *NO SPOILER* seemed a bit rushed and contrived. Not enough that it turned me off the film but it could have done with a polish or two.
• The movie was LOUD. At times I had no clue what a character was saying.
• The pacing wasn’t the best and with a film with this length it has to be.
Christopher Nolan has made a remarkable film, it moves the heart while challenging the mind and despite what few flaws it has one can’t forget the fact we don’t get much of that in today’s big budget extravaganzas.
Movie Rank - 7/10
Christopher Nolan brings us a big movie delving into philosophical ideas, social political one, as well as some heavy duty science concepts all to give us a excellent if a bit poor paced science fiction epic.