Interstellar

November 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Posted in 2014 | Leave a comment
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◊ ◊ ½

The danger of hype is what happens when you can’t live up to it. Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, “Inception”) is considered a red hot director right now. That’s already a dangerous set up for disappointment. Then you add in Matthew McConaughey, hot off his Oscar for “Dallas Buyer’s Club” and his Emmy nomination for “True Detective,” and you have a black hole of hype threatening to suck in everything around it. Sadly, that’s what happens here. There was little this film could do to live up to expectations and, while the visuals were breathtaking, the story was far from stellar. Had you watched the movie without sound on a massive screen in the background of some party, you could be excused for being utterly mesmerized in parts. There were some scenes so beautiful, interesting, compelling that they will stay with me for a while. However, turn up the volume and you have a strong chance of being assaulted by a musical score that was, at times, so heavy handed as to be laughable if it hadn’t been so annoying. The dialogue was unimaginative and, despite the endless cavalcade of big names, was delivered without interest. The big surprise cameo, though, was also the most interesting character by far. It was only during that story line that if felt like the film had any real energy. Worse, still, is the plot, which was  frustratingly convoluted and full of holes. For all the talk of having a physicist on set, the science was really problematic in parts. None more so than in the trip to a planet on the edge of a black hole where time was distorted to impossible extremes. It’s not that time can’t be distorted (at almost 3 hours, this film felt like it lasted 125 years), it’s just that this distortion (like the film in general) was just too over-the-top. However, nothing was more over-the-top than the ending. The movie really was beautiful enough and there were a few really solid scenes that I would have left the theater satisfied had it not been for the feel-good, wrap-everything-up-with-a-bow, love-conquers-all ending. Those final scenes were so nonsensical, so faux sentimental, so deeply silly that they really colored the rest of the experience. It’s too bad because I had expected so much more. But, then, as I said, that’s the danger of hype.

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