Movies: Interstellar Review (or “Hollywood Blockbuster In Copying Red Dwarf Shock”)

There are a number of angles I could approach a review of Interstellar from; so much so that I could spend all day deliberating over the best one.

But I’ll try to just be as straight-forward about it as possible without going into so much detail that it’ll spoil things

Interstellar Review: What’s It About?

Flavour of the Month, Matthew McConaughey goes into space in a bid to find a new habitable planet for the at-risk-of-extinction human race to live on, seeing as Earth has decided to pack it in.

Thoughts – Is It Any Good?

To be blunt, it’s not great.

There are a number of reasons for this.

1. It Went On For Too Long

This idea that big budget movies have to go on for near on three hours these days really annoys me. As a trimmed down 110 minutes long this could have been snappy and enjoyable, but for long spells – especially ininterstellar3 the middle – it felt like a real slog.

What could have gone? Plenty.

Take for example the 45 minutes or so wasted on Matt Damon. What was the point? Was it just because Hollywood logic dictates that there has to be a villain placing a hero in peril at some point? Or is it that Damon has struck a deal with someone, somewhere to guarantee that he’s in everything these days?

2. You Knew From The Moment It Started That It Would End Happily

And that’s not just because all Hollywood blockbusters feel the need to have a happy ending.

You knew that it would have a happy ending because the very first people to appear in the film are people from the future who were young at the time the movie is set.

Once again, this is this notion that everything has to have a prolepsis scene at the start these days.

An adventurous director in 2014 would try to tell a story from a linear perspective.

3. The Last 45 Minutes Were Ridiculous

Even though I could get my head around what went on with the black hole, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t ridiculous. I can imagine plenty of people left confused. I didn’t though because…

4. It Was Clichéd

You’ll read plenty of people discuss how groundbreaking Interstellar was and how it touched upon new ideas. It didn’t. Not really. That’s not to say that it should be marked down hugely for it since almost everything is borrowed from somewhere else, but for a guy who watches Science Fiction type stuff regularly, I can identify where just about every main idea Nolan used came from, whether they be The Girl in the Fireplace, Red Dwarf or dozens of other sources.

The problem is that people will forgive all of this and proclaim it a masterpiece because it’s a Christopher Nolan film and there’s this Emperor’s New Clothes idea that he’s a genius.

I tend to find I don’t want to ever watch any of his movies again, so I’m not sure why he’s so revered.

Now none of this is to say that it was a bad film. The idea was interesting enough, it was visually top-notch and it also had a grand and impressive musical score from Hans “My Best Work Was The BBC Going For Gold Theme” Zimmer (which makes a change from the usual stuff from tired old John Williams).

I just didn’t think it justified the hype.

Or to put it another way, it was style over substance.

And like I’ve already said – and this is the main problem at the heart of it – it was just too long.

Give me the brisk 90 minutes of Gravity over this any day.


3 Responses to Movies: Interstellar Review (or “Hollywood Blockbuster In Copying Red Dwarf Shock”)

  1. Cerin says:

    Great review, Stuart! I agree with literally everything you have to say on this film. It would have been a far greater 110 minute film, and the chunk with Matt Damon was very unnecessary. Although his character was one of the original expeditioners (is that a word??) who found one of the three planets, he didn’t need to have an appearance in the film. It was just shameless padding!

    My friends gave this film a 9 out of 10. I’d probably give it a 7.5 or an 8. One of them worships Nolan, and like you said, has the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ problem.

    Keep up these fantastic reviews. You’re my favourite entertainment reviewer on the internet, and going off topic, I agree with your last review of Dark Water/Death in Heaven, how you said Peter Capaldi was the best Doctor. Bloody agree!

    All the best from all the way in Australia.


  2. Rob says:

    I generally love Nolan’s movies, but I’m not blind to his faults. This was one of his weaker efforts and I’m baffled by its sudden high ranking in the IMDB top 250. Nice review.

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