Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | December 31, 2014

Interstellar

I saw Interstellar recently. My recommendation: don’t.

This is a movie that dedicates a considerable amount of screen time to technical aspects of space exploration and to the physics of black holes, time dilation, etc. I’m cool with that. Despite some questionable science (see Phil Plait’s spoiler-filled reviews here and here), there was a foundation here for a riveting sci fi film. But that wasn’t enough for Nolan and whoever else was in control here. I would have thought that Gravity and Apollo 13 had shown that the engineering challenges of space exploration, all on their own, can create compelling drama and tension. But the creators of Interstellar decided that they needed to manufacture a villain and insert an annoying and distracting secondary plot conflict back on Earth. The result is a mess, even before getting to the botched rip-off of 2001.

Yes, the movie has “spectacle,” but a well-written plot would also be nice. (“Heavy-handed” is an apt description of this film’s storytelling.) Ultimately, I agree with Ian O’Neill:

I certainly have more criticisms about the movie that I do have praise. That’s because this movie had so much potential, but rather than trusting good science could be carried with good storytelling, it kept slipping into fantasy and baffling soul searching. All this while being dressed up as an epic story of science and exploration, a promise “Interstellar” certainly could not keep.

Annoying.

Not Christopher Nolan’s best work. Underwhelming and frustrating at the same time.

On the bright side, anything that exposes more people to the poetry of Dylan Thomas can’t be all bad, I suppose.

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