Just like infinite space, this movie goes on and on
Please note this review contains spoilers.
I'll be the first to admit I'm not a fan of Matthew McConaughey, nor was I a fan of this movie's previews. So when invited to see Interstellar I tried to shrug off my negative expectations.
Matthew McConaughey. In a space suit. On a frozen planet.
Unfortunately, my gut was right.
The biggest problem with Interstellar is what it tries too hard to be - part Matrix III, part Gravity. It tries so hard, in fact that you wonder if the writers got so confused they kind of gave up 30 minutes in. The scripting hovers between dead air and exasperating repetition; the main characters repeat the same words and sentences so often in the same tone I found myself wondering if the film's audio reel was scratched and behaving like a broken record.
Now onto the plot. In an un-named time, the earth is reduced to a sparse, dry, dust covered version of its self for reasons that are never explained -save for a mention of destructive over-spending of the 21st Century. Those still alive on Earth are referred to as the "Caretaker Generation" because caretaking is what they do. It's the only thing they can do. Mathew McConaughey plays the role of Cooper, a qualified engineer and pilot whose skills are barely needed during a time where all anyone does is farm for the one thing that keeps them alive. This would be corn...
Through a series of bizarre events, Cooper comes to believe he has been sent a message through a ghost that communicates with his daughter. The ghost gives driving directions to a building which turns out to be secret NASA headquarters - apparently giant secret buildings with armed guards in the middle of flatbed, farm-only, dustbowls tend to go unnoticed in a technologically barren world...
Then again this is NASA; maybe the building transparently mirrors dust-storms during the day. Moving on... Although the folks at NASA aren't too happy about their camouflage breakdown, two scientists get excited when they realise Cooper is alive & breathing - after their 1940's style robot nearly tasers him to death - and he calms down. The scientists are Professor John Brand (Michael Caine) & his daughter Dr Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway) who jump at the chance to recruit Cooper for another mission, you see in another unexplained back story Cooper is shown to have once piloted a spacecraft that crashed. All we know is that Dr Brand Snr was somehow involved in that flight before NASA was deemed too expensive and decommissioned.
So why is the government secretly wasting the little money it has left in science fiction theories? The plot thickens - but not for long as we quickly learn our dusty old earth is dying (like, duh). First the crops will become poisonous leading to mass starvation, and if that doesn't wipe us out the ever more toxic dust will.
The Brands' mission is not so simple; a handful of NASA's brightest and bravest will travel through an intergalactic wormhole and visit 4 different planets to find one habitable enough for what's left of Earth's population. But that's not all! The Lazarus Mission comes with a free Sophie's Choice - if/when they find a viable planet, the scientists must decide to either go back and fetch us earthlings or abandon us and bring to full term the fertilised eggs on board to create a new human civilization.
From this point on you'll endure over 100 minutes of bouts of silence, spinning-ship driving, characters weeping over video messages sent from home & a couple of broken-record style debates over whose planet sounds cooler.
There was one good part though, in a sort of 'so bad it's good' way: the fight scene between Dr Mann - Matt Damon's pointless character- and Cooper. I laughed out loud at the utter stupidity of Cooper pinning Dr Mann to the ground only to stay still as the doctor head-butts him over & over again. To be fair, Cooper does defend himself by saying "No, Don't, Stop it, No" after every mask cracking blow. Watching Matthew McConaughey flailing about like a fish out of water, trying to breathe whilst covering the hole in his helmet & sounding like Darth Vader with smokers lung was definitely a high point for me.
When I burst out laughing no one even shushed me, surprise surprise.
The last half hour of Interstellar is where most of the action is (as usual with most bad movies). The main problem here is by this point you're too tired, bored and feeling the beginning of bedsores to care all that much. You just want it to be over. Only 5 of the 30-odd movie goers in my cinema weren't openly sighing or tapping their feet in aggravated anticipation for this disaster to end. The other 5 were too busy stumbling over the aisle steps to escape.
Regarding the "ending"; I'm not telling.
Why spoil something already rotten?
Plus I'm still not sure what happened myself...
Director: Christopher Nolan Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon Writers: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan Language: English Country: United States Run Time: 169 minutes Rating: M 15 Genre: Mystery, Adventure, Sci-Fi