Director: Christoper Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Topher Grace, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Mackenzie Foy, Timothée Chalamet, David Oyelowo, Collette Wolfe, Francis X. McCarthy, Andrew Borba, Wes Bentley, William Devane, David Gyasi, Casey Affleck, Leah Cairns, Liam Dickinson, Flora Nolan
Voice Cast: Bill Irwin, Josh Stewart
Synopsis: A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.
7.7 / 10
- The cinematography was fantastic. Excellent camera work that helped capture the vastness and mystery of space.
- Sound effects and mixing were great.
- Visual effects were excellent.
- Well paced. Never felt too long, nor rushed.
- Christopher Nolan does a great job directing this overall.
- Hans Zimmer's music matches the tone of each scene perfectly.
- All the actors played their parts well. Nothing great or memorable, but they played their parts exactly how they needed to be played, in order for the story to work.
- The script starts off strong with a great premise, but it's a bit inconsistent with it's narrative.
- The deus ex machina device that Nolan uses comes off as being a bit cheesy. Don't get me wrong, I understand the symbolic meaning behind it, and some of the implications that it might have meant. However, since the film was told with a straight narrative before that point, it just feels a bit out of place to introduce something that abstract into the story.
This film is a mind f*** of the highest caliber....
On paper, "Interstellar" seems like one of the deepest science fiction movies of all time, but it falls short because of it's inconsistent narrative and plot holes. For those of you that have followed me for a while, then you should know I'm a huge fan of Christopher Nolan. Heck, i was following him way before it became popular, as I still contest that his best work was before he made the infamous "Dark Knight" trilogy. However, this is one movie that I can't help but scratch my head at.
Sure, all the technical aspects for the movie were great. The sound effects and mixing were spot on. The visuals were amazing and seemed fairly realistic. Plus, I love all the wide angled space shots, and some of the slow rotating camera work that Nolan took for some of the space scenes. It helped create a very atmospheric film that captured the vastness and mystery of space quite well. Out of all the films that Nolan has ever worked on, I would say this is probably the best one he's done in terms of visuals. It was beautifully shot, and I would't be surprised if "Interstellar" wins a lot of technical awards at next year's Oscars.
Plus when you add in Hans Zimmer's orchestration work to these visuals, then you end up with poetry in motion. Every technical aspect about this film was on point, and it flowed perfectly. Sure, "Interstellar" might have been almost a three hour movie, but it goes by so fast that you hardly even notice. That's not to say the film ever feels rushed, as it doesn't. However, there's so much information this film throws at you, but it never feels like it's too complex to understand, nor does the movie ever feel the need to talk down to it's audience either. The pacing seems to be just right with this film, as you can tell they did a great job editing this. Everything from a technical standpoint was great in "Interstellar", as I thought Nolan did a tremendous job directing this feature overall.
Matthew McConaughey gives a command performance as well. Granted, he still plays the same slick back southern Texan that we're used to seeing him play in all his movies, but he still manages to deliver a heartfelt performance nonetheless. Jessica Chastain manages to give the movie the emotional anchor it needs, while Anne Hathaway and the rest remain in top form as well.
As I pointed out earlier, Nolan does a fantastic job directing this movie, as you can tell all the intricate details are done quite nicely. However, it's the script that's the main problem here.
Unlike most of the Nolan's other movies, "Interstellar" seems a bit inconsistent in it's narrative. Plus, the convenient plot device that Nolan introduces in the third act of the film doesn't help either, but it does create quite a few plot holes within the story itself.
When the film starts off, the narrative seems fairly straight forward. "Interstellar" takes place sometime in the distant future, where humanity has used up most of it's natural resources. Everyday is a constant struggle to survive, as the government has put more of an emphasis on people becoming farmers rather than pursing other careers like engineering and etc. In fact, they even rewrite history books to teach kids that the moon landing was nothing more than "Cold War" propaganda to bankrupt the Soviet Union; in order to teach kids a cautionary tale about wasting resources.
Secretly though, NASA is planning a mission to help humanity find another home, as climate changes seem inevitable. And if it continues this way, then future generations could end up suffocating to death; hence ending all life on Earth as we know it.
Matthew McConaughey plays a down to Earth ex NASA astronaut named Cooper, who ends up stumbling upon this secret project. As for how he managed to find out about it, it's a bit of a mystery. At first, we're led to believe that it could be something supernatural or possibly a sign from some mysterious gravitational force. It's hard to explain without giving away the film, but I will advise readers that "Interstellar" is one of those type of movies that you really have to pay attention to in order to comprehend it.
However, to make a long story short, Cooper gets recruited by NASA. He inevitably travels through a worm hole to find another inhabitable planet for humanity to live on; along with a few other astronauts that were trained for the journey. Along the way, they discover that their mission might be in vain, but Cooper refuses to give up because he doesn't want to leave his children to die on Earth.
It's a sad touching story to watch, and it might have been stronger had it stuck to this straight narrative. Instead though, Nolan turns "Interstellar" into sort of an abstract metaphorical movie by the third act, where he introduces a deus ex machina device that not only creates a lot of plot holes within the story itself, but seems kind of cheesy. Don't get me wrong, I do see what Nolan was going for, as it seems like he wanted to create this deep science fiction film that would make audiences think.
And for the most part, it does throughout the majority of the film. It brings up a lot of great concepts regarding climate changes, space exploration and where humanity could be going in the future. It's an interesting story to say the least, but the deus ex machine plot device that Nolan uses doesn't make any sense from a narrative standpoint.
Granted, we don't know what's inside a black hole per say, but the deus ex machina plot device seems a bit cheesy and a bit too convenient if you ask me. If anything, it reeks of lazy writing. It's almost as if Nolan didn't know how to end his movie, so he made up some random plot device to achieve what he wanted. It's never fully explained how the deus ex machina plot device works, or who put it there for Cooper to use. However, it's just there.
"Interstellar" on the surface has all the makings of being a deep science fiction movie that possesses a lot of great themes. Sadly, the script is inconsistent, and contains quite a few plot holes that keep it from being one of Nolan's best.
Overall, I wouldn't call "interstellar" a bad movie, as it's definitely worth checking out for the visuals alone. It's almost a shame Nolan doesn't endorse 3-D cinematography, as a lot of these space shots would've been great to see in 3-D. However, they're still worth seeing nonetheless, and it's worth seeing the film if only to see what all the fuss is about. Sure, the script is weak, but one thing is certain about this movie.
Whether you love it or hate it, "Interstellar" is going to be one mind f*** you won't soon forget.
© 2014 Steven Daniels