Sunday, December 28, 2014


Of all of the movies coming out in 2014, this was probably the one I was looking forward to the most. Overall, I must say it was a mixed bag. With Christopher Nolan at the helm, it would be unrealistic to expect anything other than a great movie, but it was, at best, just that. It was not an excellent movie or a brilliant one. In many ways, it was a disappointment.

It most certainly is an ambitious movie, visually, scientifically, imaginatively. But therein lies much of its problems. There is too much suspension of disbelief required in the late-going, a problem only saved by Matthew McConaughey, and the entire thriller section in the middle is telegraphed (and therefore unsurprising), absurd, and completely distracting due to the overrated Matt Damon’s presence. Just like the plot twists in The Dark Knight Rises, these moments and sequences make it seem like Nolan is just going for ambition for its own sake right now, and I hope he stops soon.

The movie is about humanity destroying itself and then pushing its limits to persevere and save itself from self-imposed extermination. This is all fine, well, and good, but maybe Nolan and his brother should have persevered and saved their own movie from self-imposed extermination by coming up with a different reason to fear for the mission’s success that did not involve Matt Damon.

The rest of the movie, though, is breathtaking and brilliant. The visual effects are stunning, as is the art direction. Hans Zimmer’s score is another tone poem, and it works quite well. Similar to Emmanuel Lubezki’s work in Gravity, Hoyte van Hoytema finds a way to make his cinematography gorgeous and great, even when he’s limited to unusual angles in CGI background scenes.

The movie really succeeds, though, because of its acting. Matthew McConaughey is an able and effortlessly charismatic lead throughout, but he furthers that by taking advantage of his every emotional scene. His scene while watching his daughter Murph grow up before his eyes is the stuff legends are made of.

And as Murph, Jessica Chastain and Mackenzie Foy are both solid and manage to play off of each other rather well.

Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine are fine, but neither really overcomes the limitations the script places upon them. Bill Irwin as the voice of the robot TARS, is really the only other performance worthy of mention above all the others.

So all in all, it has that wow factor, but once you get past the “I just got my mind blown” moments, which it admittedly has in spades, the acting is really what keeps it all standing.

No, it's not really trying to be 2001: A Space Odyssey at all, but it's hard to really go to bat for it in any sort of committed capacity regardless.



  1. I'd probably go lower in score although I agree with most of your points. In particular Nolan's needless ambitious plot twists that were equally unnecessary in Rises.

  2. I must admit I really struggled with the score. I did thoroughly enjoy it almost in its entirety, but there were numerous problems throughout. Its an almost identical problem to The Hobbit. With all of the things wrong with both of them, there's no way my scores should be as high as they are, but I did like them both and was thoroughly entertained by them while I was watching.