I grew up reading science fiction, and it remains my favorite genre of film and books. Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Robert Silverberg, Rober Zelazny, Heinlein, Azimov, and Greg Bear remain some of my favorite authors. I enjoy the hard-sci fi as well as more playful space opera. I love the first Star Wars movies, and I also really like Contact. I loved The Edge of Tomorrow. Heck, I even liked Riddick.
So it was with great anticipation I forked out the extra bucks to see Interstellar on a super-big screen. I’d been looking forward to this one since I’d seen the trailer for it last year.
Of course, I was doomed to disappointment. It’s a rare thing when lofty expectations are met. It’s a decent movie, but I was hoping for something, well, stellar.
I liked the premise, the idea that the Earth had turned against humanity, leaving mankind no choice but to reach for the stars. The scenes of cars and trucks laden with people migrating to anywhere else were reminiscent of the Dust Bowl and Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.
The acting was good, with Michael Cane and Mathew McConaughey delivering solid performances. The special effects were excellent, and there were some breathtaking scenes in space.
But there were too many moments where I scratched my head and said “What???” I had to resist the urge to turn to my wife and criticize the movie, risking the wrath of fellow movie goers, and I didn’t want to be THAT guy. So I sipped my drink and simmered.
My issue with this movie is that it pretends to be smarter than it actually is. Had I gone into the movie with a different set of expectations, I think I would have enjoyed the film much more.
When the crew is on the planet with the massive tidal surge and a character drags her feet instead of returning to the ship, I cringed.
When they decide to investigate planets orbiting a black hole, I thought, why the hell would they do that. Black holes are inherently unstable, dangerous things you stay away from.
When the survivors leave a planet and within ten seconds are drawn into the black hole’s gravitational pull, I rolled my eyes. When they arrive at this black hole minutes later, not crushed by the gravity, I squirmed in my seat.
In the library of time, where past and present are laid out in extra dimensional space, I wondered what the hell was going on.
And the ending, where our hero decides to return, somehow without any time distortion, drove me nuts.
So there it is. I found the movie to be visually stunning, and emotional, but the massive plot holes and shoddy science detracted from the overall experience. If I’d known going in that the movie was essentially silly, I could have rolled with the inexplicable twists and turns and made up physics.
It’s worth watching on the big screen, just be prepared.