There have been many occasions recently when we’ve been told that an upcoming film is “huge in scale”, “big in scope”, or “epic”, but once you’re finally able to watch the movie it becomes plain that this hype was merely a marketing ploy to sell a mediocre product. When it comes to Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar this is definitely the case, and with the cinematic hyperbole “epic” being used so many times to describe this movie, it almost became a synonym for the film before the public even watched it. After weeks of brainwashing movie-goers into thinking that Christopher Nolan is some kind of reincarnation of Stanley Kubrick, I like the rest of the audience (all five of them) were expecting something spectacular, but after the overrated shitfest that was The Dark Knight Rises, I don’t know why I expected more. Once I finally sat down and began to watch this drab-arse movie, it first made me wonder which part was supposed to be “epic”. It wasn’t the dusty cornfield on Earth, it wasn’t the Earth-like alien planets, it wasn’t the low-grade spacecraft or the robot, and it definitely wasn’t the unimpressive worm-hole. And yet Interstellar cost an estimated $165,000,000. I mean where did this money go? I haven’t seen this much wasted money since a fucking NASA Mission.
Interstellar like many recent Hollywood exercises in condescension (After Earth, Avatar) is set in a not-too-distant future where the human race has destroyed its own planet and must leave, explore, and conquer other worlds. And yet, even from this point in the movie we are introduced to so much barbed commentary about society and culture that you begin to feel uncomfortable in your seat…
- Firstly it’s supposed to be a dystopian future where the human race is on the brink of extinction, and yet conversely we’re told there’s no more Army. So I guess we’re supposed to equate war and militarism with harmony and paradise?
- There is a quick dig at conspiracy theorists, with the school children being given books in which they are told the Apollo moon landings were faked. So people who are free-thinkers will lead the Earth to ruin?
- There is also the inclusion of an Indian Air-Force drone which the lead character “Cooper” takes control of. So only when the world is completely destroyed will a third-world country become technologically advanced enough to compete with current American tech?
- Then there is the strange inclusion of national stereotypes; America is able to grow corn, and Ireland has just been through a potato famine! …Fuck off Nolan.
Wasn’t this supposed to be a film about humanity, that is to say; all of humanity? I guess even in a serious-toned contemporary sci-fi drama concerning the extinction of the human race, we still have an American saviour. In that respect, Interstellar may as well be a reboot of Armageddon, but targeted toward middle-class twats. I mean, if you’ve got copies of the original Planet Of The Apes, M. Night Shyamalan‘s Signs, Sphere, Contact, Solaris, Event Horizon, and the aforementioned Armageddon, you could piece together this film on an editing suite and save yourself a trip to the frigging cinema. Just take all the cornfield corniness and sentimental junk from Signs, add the water landing from Planet Of The Apes, add a touch of boredom from Solaris and then edit in the explanation of a wormhole directly from Event Horizon. Interstellar is hardly an original movie-going experience.
For somebody who wishes he was Stanley Kubrick, Nolan hasn’t even made outer-space as believable as Kubrick’s moon landings (allegedly). And while I’m at it, knocking the Moon landing conspiracy and then proceeding to film a so-called “realistic” space movie here on Earth is the epitome of ironic. But I digress, back to the film itself.
Interstellar purports to be about human exploration, life, love, the human experience, and science; and in the hands of a talented writer and director these ideas could have been exciting, enthralling, and even emotional. But when it comes to Christopher and Jonathan Nolan’s examination of these concepts, we are left with nothing but 169 minutes of contrived blandness and soulless film-making; it’s as if the Nolans put little or no effort into creating this space-junk. In fact, Interstellar has so little going for it, that it was hardly worth the ticket price. It did however, have an almost endless list of things wrong with it, so let’s get back to bullet points, hell, I may as well put as much effort into critiquing it as Christopher Nolan did into making it…
- In the future we can’t sort out crop blight or dust-related lung disease, we’re weirdly still using rockets to leave the Earth’s atmosphere, and NASA are still using today’s laptops. But amidst all this backwards bullshit we’ve invented some form of suspended-animation-cum-hyper-sleep chamber.
- T.A.R.S. is one of the cheapest looking robots since Robot B-9 from Lost In Space, clunking around like a fucking vending machine with legs; this was surely one of the lamest excuses for a robot (or should I say “slave”) in the history of film.
- And on that note, I guess we humans can only navigate through space and build a “civilisation” on a New World with the help of a slave; space exploration seems very Columbus-esque.
- Matthew McConaughey pretty much abandons his Catholic sensibilities. There are no aliens, no ghosts, and by extension no God in Interstellar. Humans are the be-all and end-all of the entire Universe and all dimensions. It’s like he completely forgot about the sentiments of Contact; what happened to belief rather than proof?
- Overpopulation throughout history usually follows on from exploration. After a place is conquered, it is settled and built on. We then breed and consume. We cannot fix this human trait, but in Interstellar our best idea is to leave Earth and continue the same cycle on another planet. What are we, fucking germs?
- And yet, in this world where the Big Bang definitely happened, and Adam and Eve is a thing of fiction; our best solution is freezing human embryos in order to save them from an Armageddon like some kind of all-human Noah’s Ark. What a great scientific idea.
- Nolan wants progress in the form of technological advances for space exploration, and yet he wants to keep analogue projection in cinemas.
- Nolan makes a film that is so fucking boring, it makes no difference if you watch it with digital projection.
- The continual use of the same shot (from the camera rigged to the side of the Ranger and Lander) becomes tiresome and monotonous.
- The crew of Endurance represents the “best of humanity” and this consists of a pilot slash engineer, and a few scientists. Within this amazingly diverse skill-set there are three men to one woman, and there are three white people to one black. The prejudicial ratio in Interstellar is off the star chart.
- Dr. Mann is the first person to travel through the wormhole. Great name, I guess we could have had Dr. Womann, Dr. White, And Dr. Black, but that would have been too obvious.
- 23 years pass on Earth, Cooper’s kids have grown up, and yet Michael Caine looks exactly the same. Toward the end of the film, Cooper returns (over 80 years have past on Earth and he is technically 124 years old) and yet all the hospital equipment looks the same as the day he left and so do the clothes.
- Anne Hathaway‘s character lands on the new “Edmund Planet” where we can see the American flag planted in the background; I thought this was to kick-start the human race, not to start an American Colony.
This movie is so bleak that it will never be remembered in the pantheon of great space genre movies. It may contain references to inter-dimensional time, but Interstellar is far from timeless, and constantly quoting Dylan Thomas’ poem does not give this crap any more artistic credence. The slap-dash storyline has more plot-holes than worm-holes, and the shabby way in which this film is constructed, you instantly begin to notice the problems rather than enjoy the story. The most glaring plot-hole is the fact that if five-dimensional future human beings can effect their own past, then why not communicate with humanity before it destroys the Earth and prevent it? Surely letting the pre-crop-blight humans know of their future is simpler than the more complicated “tell the dying humans to explore space through a worm-hole” solution? But then again, if these future humans exist in a time where they need us to change the course of our future, surely they and their time-line would cease to exist once we fulfill our destiny and save humanity? The way this time-travel paradox is set out in the movie, it seems that humans will be stuck in a never-ending loop.
Interstellar is nowhere near being an artistic masterpiece, and even though it wishes it was 2001: A Space Odyssey, it has more similarities to Gravity; it’s overrated and nothing special. So let’s be honest, this film does not contain exciting and imaginative space exploration like that of Gene Roddenberry, and it doesn’t contain intriguing science like that of Michael Crichton; so why has it been so overvalued and so over-hyped? In fact, the imagining of worlds and the delving into theoretical physics becomes so lifeless and dull, that you would rather listen to a lecture from an actual physicist than watch this horridly dismal movie, and when coupled with Hans Zimmer’s overblown, same-same bullshit score, Interstellar becomes so tedious that you begin to think time has actually stood still.