**1/2 out of ****
I’m actually pretty unhappy with this movie. In the days that have followed since seeing it, I’ve felt pretty down. The beginning is strong and fascinating. The middle is aggravating and stupid. The end is interesting but far from satisfying. Director Christopher Nolan has delivered a production solid enough to be remembered for years to come but he and his co-writer brother, Jonathan, constructed a story with an unmanageable amount of unpolished concepts –even for a three-hour movie. This is frustrating sci-fi, which reminds me of Zemekis’ Contact and Spielberg’s A.I.
Matthew McConaughey is continuing his hotstreak in picking ambitious material to work with, but the final quality of this project is problematic. The actors do what they can with the material, but many of their characters make choices, which baffle me.
The theme of love transcending time and space, challenged my ability to take its ideas seriously, but there was a breaking point for me far into the film, when a pointless conflict is mindlessly introduced, which provoked one very awkward spaceman fight scene, intercut with another issue taking place on earth. Both aspects of this story seemed needless and they didn't fit together well in the edit.
While I found a sequence near the end to be preposterous, it's surreal execution was undeniably gorgeous. The visuals are engaging through smart, high-end cinematography capturing brilliant design work and flawless special effects. Also, I can’t wait to own Hans Zimmer’s pipe-organ-filled score, which sounds like a callback to Philip Glass’ Koyanniqatsi score.
There’s nothing forgettable about Interstellar. What really bothers me is its ambition in taking on a big idea, which happens to tap into our anxieties concerning humanity's future, and delivered something clumsy.