Dir. Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Matt Damon
Review By Greg Klymkiw
There isn't one single Christopher Nolan movie I've ever liked. He's humourless, pretentious and worst of all, he's a veritable Blind Pew when it comes to directing action scenes (which is a bit of a problem since three of his pictures are superhero movies). However, Interstellar is cause for a thimble-sized celebratory quaff o' bubbly since I was able to actually sit through the movie and not hate it - too much. Basically what we're dealing with here is an almost 3-hour-long cerebral-style sci-fi soaper involving a dying Earth and a whack of astronauts searching for habitable planets beyond a black hole that opens up into a faraway galaxy.
First of all, the movie has no major action set-pieces for Nolan to screw-up. The handful there are genuinely have an accent on suspense and Nolan handles them reasonably well. Also, the picture is replete with low-key dialogue scenes in a claustrophobic spaceship which allows for some fine acting from Matthew McConaughey as the ship's captain, Anne Hathaway as the science officer (and daughter of Michael Caine, the back-on-Earth mastermind of the endeavour to save the human race) as well as the always astonishing Jessica Chastain as McConaughey's back-on-Earth scientist daughter.
For such a long, humourless picture, it almost never feels dull and offers a compelling-enough journey to keep us in our seats. There's one humungous problem, however. The ride provided is decent enough, but there isn't a moment when we don't know where the movie is headed. The predictability-factor is disappointingly up there.
I defy anyone to not figure out the big secret in the early going when McConaughey's daughter (as a little girl) begs him not to go on the journey. I annoyingly tried to explain to my wife where the movie was headed and she asked me politely to keep my mouth shut. "Oh come," I insisted, "It's going to have worm holes and time travel elements, so how can it not be . . . " At this point, my daughter sharply cut me off with an aggressive finger to her lips and a loud, "Ssssshhhhhhh!!!!!"
I also defy anyone to not figure out from the very moment we meet Matt Damon that he isn't all he's cracked up to . . . oh, I'll shut it!!!
The movie is perfectly watchable, though, and based upon its relative competence I'd suggest that maybe, just maybe, Nolan has figured out how to make movies. Interstellar still bears the Christopher "One Idea" Nolan imprimatur - he'll never shake that, but at least you'll not be checking what time it is every five-to-minutes.
THE FILM CORNER RATING:
Interstellar screens the world over via Paramount.