I don't think I have to explain to you who Christopher Nolan is. It's not very often that we get a director who is able to capture the attention of both the general audience and cinephiles. With his track record, it was only a matter of time that a movie would be released that many would consider his worst. But with what everybody is saying, is "Interstellar" really as mediocre as some have been claiming?
I want to preface and say that I am not a Nolan "fanboy", nor am I a Nolan hater. I enjoy his films and while I think some of them get more credit than they deserve, (Inception more specifically) Nolan's filmography are some of the most inventive and creative movies of the past decade. If I had one word for his vision, it would be ambitious.
And this is where I think "Interstellar" is at its best. Its probably his most ambitious film to date. Some of the ideas in this movie are very inspired and very creative, and I give Nolan props for that.
As for the plot, since I don't want to give too much away, the most I can say about it is no more than the IMDB synopsis.
"A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage."
The thing that stood out the most to me in "Interstellar" was the visuals. This is a beautiful movie. There are no other words to describe it.
It's not really a surprise either, the film's cinematographer, Hoyte van Hoytema ('The Fighter' and 'Her'), is one of the best in the industry. Throughout the movie I was entranced by just the sheer gorgeousness that the look of space was given. It was impressive.
Due to a mix of the special effects, the look of space on an IMAX screen and the fantastic score by Hans Zimmer. I was almost completely engrossed in the movie, feeling like I was apart of it... until I noticed the glaring problems with the script.
And this is where 'Interstellar' lost me, the script. There are so many tiny choices in this movie that I just don't understand, and they build up so much that it took me out of the movie. There are so many moments where I thought to myself "Wow, I was really into this, but that kind of ruined it."
Now I can forgive flaws, but with an experienced director like Christopher Nolan, I just felt like a lot of this could be avoided.
Now the best aspect of the script is the pure emotion. There is one particular moment involving Matthew McConaughey that was especially fantastic, and a lot of that was probably due to his unbelievably good acting. The dude knows how to sell a scene, and he does it.
What's bad about the script is a lot it is exposition. There are way too many moments of "Oh, something is going on here, so the character should probably explain it to the audience."
I would have loved to have been shown something without a character explaining it a couple seconds later. The general movie audiences aren't the brightest, but at the very least they aren't completely stupid. You don't need to tell me whats going on while its happening movie, I can figure it out.
My biggest gripes are really with some of the dialogue given by Anne Hathaway. There is this whole speech about love in the middle of the movie that was kind of awful, and Hathaway's overacting didn't really help.
However my biggest problem with "Interstellar" was a certain character introduced in the second act. I can't get really specific with what was wrong without spoiling too much, so I'll just say that I thought the character was going to go one direction, and what they decided to do instead was really bland and felt like a cop-out.
There were also some small problems with the score drowning out dialogue (even though I loved the score), an unnecessary last ten minutes that could have been cut out, and some other things here or there.
Overall if I had to give my general feelings on the movie I'd have to break it into three acts.
A good first act and introduction to characters
An okay second act that ends with a cop-out
A third act that was fantastic but could have ended a little bit earlier.
I don't want anybody to think I disliked "Interstellar." I enjoyed it a lot. While some of the flaws are too big to ignore, I can look past most of them. This film is well above mediocre, and not as bad as many are describing it. Nolan's worst? I personally don't think so, but its debatable. I definitely recommend "Interstellar" and believe its worth the price of admission.