Interstellar ★★

Yeah, I don't know... no.

I think I experienced time dilation while watching this movie; its three-hour runtime felt more like six. Been a very long time since I was this tempted to walk out of a movie and look up the ending on Wikipedia.

The heartbreaking thing is that it started out very strong, which made the final 2/3 even more disappointing. After the first hour or so, the film just became a completely disorganized, tone-deaf mess. Needlessly expository, ham-fistedly reiterating the same point over and over (and over and over...), telegraphing every twist, ringing hollow on the emotional notes, dragging out pointless scenes for way too long, ultimately losing any hope of coherence.

Really just too long. Agonizingly long. At the two-hour mark I was thinking "how long can they possibly drag this out?" Every single scene in the latter half of the movie felt at least twice as long as it needed to be, and for no good reason whatsoever.

Takes a stab at a slew of interesting ideas (but then backs off from seriously examining any single one of them), tries to be epic in scale and intimate in emotional connection, but somehow just... falls completely flat on every single count. Attempts to pay homage to classic SF while somehow completely missing the point; the heart and soul of classic SF lies in making the audience wonder and think, not spoon-feeding them nice, safe answers.

The script needed a good rewrite. Too many bad, strange, confusing narrative choices. Too much cringe-inducing dialog. Entirely too much repetition (of phrases, of exposition, of shots). That Dylan Thomas poem is insipid enough the first few times. This movie needs a drinking game.

Unlike some, I did like the inside-the-black-hole bit near the end, though again, these things feel far more satisfying when you don't spoil them with astonishingly heavy-handed foreshadowing.

I think its biggest failure was in not being able to decide conclusively whether it was an inspiring, optimistic call-to-action type movie or a personal, psychological space thriller about the evil inherent in mankind. It made a half-assed gesture in both directions and allowed them to ultimately undermine each other.

I have no idea how it's even possible to make such a dull, unimaginative, un-thought-provoking movie about interstellar space travel and the future of humanity. Honestly I didn't even think the visuals or the score were all that interesting on the whole, and we saw it in IMAX too.

There was a good story (or two or three) buried in there somewhere, and if this had ditched some of its pretentious "ambition" and tried to make a more focused two-hour movie, I think it would've been amazing.

The robots, though? The robots were the best. (It probably says something that I felt more of an emotional connection to the robots than to the human characters.)

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