Oh where to begin with this one..
Interstellar, the latest from Christopher Nolan, features a narrative that sees humanity reaching out into the far edges of the known universe in an attempt to find a possible new home for us all. Food has been disappearing at an alarming rate with crops dying off one-by-one to a blight, of sorts (not much is explained honestly). Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former engineer now farmer in this Grapes of Wrath-esque version of the future is charged with being the one to lead a crack team of the world's finest to do so. He must leave behind his daughter, Murph, and his son, Tom, as well.
The journey to the stars is one that is visually resplendent, Nolan showcasing his craft as a director with a truly magnificent eye for framing shots and delivering on cosmic vistas. The proof, however, is in the pudding as they say. It is the other moving parts of this lashed together rescue mission that don't coalesce as intended. Jonathan and Christopher Nolan's scripting is ambitious, to say the least, but it never quite moves past being more than slathered in exposition, quantum mechanics pillow talk and dialogue that is downright clunky at times. This transfers over to the screen poorly at times with performances from rather big names to lesser supporting roles just feeling uneven and stilted at times. McConaughey, still deep in the throes of the McConaissance, does a fine job one would suppose but in a movie so intent on hammering home the point that this mission is for all the marbles, all the emotion that entails, it is sorely lacking in an emotional core.
I know most will not agree with me on this or some will accuse me of simply not getting it. This is a movie that has a reach that exceeds its grasp, though. The hefty ideas bandied about are nice, and all, but little happens in the way of explanation of all the space/quantum mechanics banter that occurs. This film, ultimately, isn't a tough one to grasp and it clearly draws heavily from Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Maybe if I enjoyed that film more I'd enjoy this one as well. I can respect 2001, nonethless, whereas with Nolan's ninth film I was left feeling very cold. All the emotion on display never actually managed to get its hooks into me.
It certainly didn't help matters that film, clocking in at 169 minutes, is far FAR too long. You could have honestly chopped off about 45 minutes of this minute and at least gotten to the bloody point quicker. If only the resolution to this ambitious yet painfully hollow film could have come about quicker perhaps it wouldn't have left such a sour taste in this reviewer's mouth. We're given little in the way of explanation for the crisis on Earth yet we also linger for way too long there before finally blasting off. Once it actually gets into the cosmos it does deliver on breathtaking space shots and effects-laden views but, honestly, it rarely keeps it stride when it hits it. This all leads to an ending that is, well, disappointing to say the least.
This was, yet again, another film of Nolan's that suffered from some of the same sound mixing problems that earlier efforts such as Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises did. There were numerous scenes in which whole sections of dialogue were inaudible for me due to the soundtrack blasting me out of my seat or other ambient noises, etc. completely overwhelming the character's words. The dialogue, as aforementioned, while wordy and clearly positioned to be intelligent mostly felt bloated. Perhaps the sound mixing issue wasn't such a con after all?