Greetings Loved Ones! Liu Is The Name, And Views Are The Game.
Despite being blessed with some superb visuals, and an absolutely astounding soundtrack, Christopher Nolan’s space odyssey, Interstellar, is no modern masterpiece. It’s predictable in some places, unrealistic in others, and flat out silly towards the end. In addition to this, it has several sub-plots that are introduced towards the beginning of the film, but never get addressed later on.
Perhaps I should elaborate. Interstellar is set in the near future, in a time when Earth has become so barren and desolate that NASA is sending people out into space to find new planets for human’s to inhabit. You can tell straight away that this film is absurd when you see how they choose the people for these missions. For instance, one member of the group, Matthew McConaughey, is selected when he and his daughter accidentally stumble across NASA’s facility, and then the man in charge of the whole operation, Michael Caine, says, “Hey Matt, you were a pilot back in the day, let’s send you on this crucial to the survival of the entire human race mission, which you didn’t train for and had know prior knowledge of.” As you can imagine, things only go downhill from there. In addition to making NASA out to be desperate, incompetent idiots, the film also shows us such impossibilities as cryogenic hibernation, and ejecting yourself from a spaceship into a black hole, which somehow transports you to a realm between space and time where you can talk to people in the past, but only through Morse code. Yeah! I told you it was silly. But what makes it even worse is that this film is by Christopher Nolan, a man who’s gained a reputation for making super sophisticated, grounded in science movies. That’s what his whole campaign for this film was–that, while fiction, it was a story that was all theoretically possible. Nolan said in various interviews that he consulted different Theoretical Physicists, like Dr Kip Thorpe, to ensure the film’s authenticity, and for about the first two-thirds of the picture, you can almost believe that. ALMOST. There’s a lot of astronomical jargon, and the representations of space and zero gravity environments seem reasonably accurate. But then, for the sake of giving us a happy ending, Nolan just throws all that science out the window, and we’re left wondering why, if he was just going to cop out with a magic, trans-dimensional portal, he even bothered trying to make his film realistic at all.
But, all ridiculousness and scientific impossibilities aside, the film is also a failure from a narrative perspective. The first twenty minutes or so are all back-story, which add nothing to the overall plot and, for the most part, never get mentioned later. At the start of the film, for instance, McConaughey has a flashback that reveals he was once in an accident. Why, you might ask, did Nolan decide to include this little vignette? I haven’t the faintest idea, because it serves absolutely no purpose. The accident itself never comes into play later in the movie, and it doesn’t appear to have ad any real impact on McConaughey’s character. Hell, he never even mentions it to anyone else. Similarly, there’s a, quite lengthy, scene within the first five minutes or so, in which he and his children are shown driving through a field of corn in pursuit of a predator drone. The movie never explains why they were chasing the drone to begin with, and as with the accident flashback, the event never resurfaces later in the plot.
In the end, what all these abandon sub-plots and scientific impossibilities in a supposedly possible scenario add up to is a visually appealing, but structurally muddled and insultingly silly movie-going experience. 6 out of 10, if you ask me. The only reason I’m not giving it a failing “5” is its cinematography and special effects. I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody, but I don’t suppose my opinion will make much difference, seeing as the movie’s already made four times its, rather large, budget in box office money. Still, I want to warn any of you out there who might be thinking about going to see it, don’t have high expectations for anything but its visuals and soundtrack.