When you think of Christopher Nolan, you probably think of the Dark Knight trilogy that ended a few years ago. However you may recall a little number called Inception that had a little less caped crusader, and a little more mind twisting. That movie had people asking what the heck they just watched, and whetehr it was real or all a dream. Now that the dark knight has hung up his cape, Nolan and his brother may have produced another epic tale in the form of a space adventure called Interstellar. This genre has been absent in the movies lately, so I was excited to see what the director had in store. Was it good or did it flop? As always I’m happy to share my opinions.
Interstellar’s story is like most space exploration tales. The earth is dying and the future of humans is once again at stake. Pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) who is a farmer/engineer is drafted into the rocket program to find other worlds to start colonizing on. Of course this involves leaving his two kids behind, possibly never seeing them again. And just like most space stories, things start to go wrong. Interstellar’s plot follows the formula of other space dramas in which things go well at first, but then quickly take a turn for the worse. Yes, like Apollo 13 and other space classics, the crew of this movie faces their fair number of challenges in the unknown. Fans will find themselves gripping the seats, or holding their breath as the drama unfolds, each scene filled with the spectacular orchestra work of Hans Zimmer. Most of the incidents you can see coming, but I’ll admit there were a few twists thrown in that surprised even me.
Interspersed with the action of the movie, is an intense dialogue that holds a lot in its well-written words. First off is character development, the backstories gradually being revealed as the group progressed on their journey. While some of the traumatic past seemed to be swept under the rug, fans will get plenty of material to help get attached to the characters. For this reviewer, I found that each of the characters got a fair amount of involvement in the movie, and the stories meshed well together to bring a good dynamic amidst the group. However, this reviewer also got a little annoyed about the constant complaining about saving the ones they loved versus completing the mission. WE knew the issues at hand, but Nolan’s writing wanted to make sure that we knew how hard it was. This did allow for some good moral testing in the dialog, seeing how far Cooper and the gang would go before diverging from their goals. In addition to these qualities, the writing is also filled with a plethora of scientific jargon that will have the audience either impressed, laughing, or completely stumped. Theoretical physics and quantum mechanics are the backbone of the journey, explaining the principles to how this journey works and why it is such a challenge. I was able to follow most of the dialogue, but determining how accurate and realistic it is, lie beyond my skills. Also there were some well time comedy moments as well, in particular from the robots, that were clever and witty.
However, the biggest strength of this movie is the phenomenal effects it has to offer. Interstellar is beautifully crafted to bring the exploration into the unknown to life, with high definition graphics and amazing sound. Planet surfaces are incredibly detailed, from the shimmer of light off the water, to the jagged crags of the icy wasteland. The spaceships themselves have a fair amount of realism to it, though at times things are a bit to blocky or bright to maintain the realism. Even the journey through the wormhole will impress fans as the dazzling lights and whooshing sounds put you right into the fray. Regardless of what part of the movie, rests assure that the visuals are impressive and a big part of what brings the excitement to the movie.
Yet for all the good this movie has, including the fantastic acting, Interstellar did have a few weaknesses for me. For one it was a very morbid movie, with so much focus on the negative. This movie has you questioning a lot about the limited time span called life, and may be a bit too depressing for some people. A second weakness was some of the overstretching they did in this movie. I get that the genre is called science fiction, but some of the things they did in this movie were a bit too out there for me. Specific examples can’t be shared, but you’ll get what I mean when you get further into the movie. If it was meant to be ridiculous, I could accept it, but for the serious tone in this movie, it didn’t fit well with me. I’m sure you can guess my next weakness is time length of the movie. Well three hours is a bit much for me these days, and with a slow beginning to set the situation up, it can really drag. However, most of the movie is very interesting and the situations are set up to an extent that most of the movie passes by quickly, though there are still some slow parts. There are a few other things to mention, but let’s wrap this up.
Interstellar is an awesome movie on so many levels. Yes many will see many similarities to the movie contact, and it does lack some originality. However, this movie is a welcome treat that stands out from the monotonous mess movies have become. I have no doubt this movie will be up for some Oscar awards, especially with the editing involved. This reviewer strongly recommends catching this movie in theaters, though be warned of the length when planning your day.
The scores are:
Movie Overall: 8.0