I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t coming into this movie anticipating a good and an entertaining experience for a change. Whether a movie is good or bad doesn’t change the fact that I am pretty cynical when I go into any movie. I don’t keep expectations too high or low because I’ve been burned more than enough by movies I thought would be good and turned out not to be the case (Iron Man 3, Sucker Punch, The Matrix: Reloaded and Revolutions just to name a few). However, I am a fan of Christopher Nolan and his track record has been solid enough in my opinion to warrant some sort of optimism going into this film (heck, I even went to the early premiere of the movie). I can honestly say my expectations were met and maybe even exceeded.
Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey (True Detective, Dallas Buyers Club) as Cooper; a former NASA pilot who stumbles upon a hidden NASA compound after looking up coordinates in an attempt to figure out what is wrong with their dying planet. It is there that he learns that the compound is full of scientist working to find a way to save the planet (or at least the people on it). On that compound is his former Professor Dr. Brand (Michael Caine) who’s leading this division on explorations to other potential worlds through the use of a wormhole only recently discovered. Now recruited for the last mission into space, Cooper leaves his family behind to accompany a group of explorers including the professor’s daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) in the hopes of discovering a new home for humanity.
Now there is a lot to this movie (and I do mean A LOT) mainly because of how science and how humanity plays a role in pushing the possibility of new discoveries. It can lose a lot of people if you’re not prepared for all the terminology and the dialogue. For many it can seem like you’re sitting through a really good documentary on quantum mechanics (but a documentary nonetheless) and that can be seen as a negative… but not for me. Instead it was quite enlightening and I was amazed at how much I didn’t know and how much I wanted to learn more (I’m kinda a big Sci-Fi fan).
Even if the abundance of exposition may take you out of the movie, the acting, drama, and overall look of the film easily brings you back in. Even I have to admit at this point Matthew McConaughey is just plain good at what he does. His character is savvy, headstrong, and idealistic which all plays into how he handles each stage of the mission. However, he does not lack compassion as some of the most powerful scenes are ones with his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy). As good as he was he definitely did not have to carry the movie as the entire ensemble from Anne Hathaway to Jessica Chastain as an older version of Murphy poured in efforts more than worthy of equal praise.
But lets not forget that a movie such as this has to have some sort of drama and it delivers in spades. From the beginning of the second half of the movie on the drama gets take to another level moving from place to place as you see the group of explorers try to survive while finding some way to finish the mission. Not to be forgotten, the developments and finding back on Earth prove to be just as significant. It all leads to a finale that while feeling a little “detached” is not short on emotion, intrigue, and overall a visual spectacle, which reminds me…
I will say that in my opinion, it’s visually one of the most beautiful movies you will ever get a chance to see. The shots from the wormhole to the different environments on planets and everything in between were nothing short of astonishing. It’s not something Christopher Nolan is especially known for, but there is praise to be given in this regard.
Verdict: Even with all the good the movie has, it’s got some misgivings. I wasn’t a fan of all the dialogue, run-time is always a bit of an issue with Nolan movies, and while I understand the bigger picture with Matt Damon’s character (yes he’s in it and it’s not a spoiler) I don’t think the execution as a whole sat well with me. By and large I still think this is the best movie I have seen to date this year and Nolan’s best to date. It touches on a multitude of subjects such as the theory of Murphy’s Law (yes the character is named after the actual theory), the importance of the progression of science and engineering is, survival of the fittest, and what humanity exactly is and what limits it may or may not have. Christopher Nolan studied for years to make this movie as realistic as possible and the fruits of his labor are apparent. It’s a tremendous movie and one of my favorites in recent memory and while you can watch the movie however you feel, I’d recommend to watch it in IMAX in any theater you can because the experience is more than worth the price of admission.
Interstellar gets a 4.5 out of 5
+ Great acting performances
+ Superior visual effects
+ Great Sci-Fi elements rooted in reality
+ One of the most thought provoking movies to come in awhile
– Some dialogue was underwhelming
– Not a fan of Matt Damon’s character
Watch Interstellar in select theaters now and nationwide November 7th