INTERSTELLAR wants to be a heart tugging story about love of family, an exciting outer space survival adventure, and a philosophical commentary on time and human nature.
But it only partly succeeds.
The cinematography and acting are superb, and the action scenes are thrilling, but the human story is overly sentimental; and the science of it all is confusing. Plus, at 2 hours and forty-nine minutes, it's way too long.
Matthew McConaughey is Cooper, a widower and father of two kids, who used to be a pilot for NASA. He's now living as a farmer in a land beset by dust storms and blight. Humanity is coming to an end.
Cooper: We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars. Now, we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.
Michael Caine is professor Brand, head of a secret program to send a spaceship through a wormhole in space to look in another galaxy for a planet that can support human life.
Professor Brand: We must confront the reality that nothing in our solar system can help us.
Cooper: I've got kids, professor.
Brand: You're the best pilot we've ever had. Get out there and save the world.
Director Christopher Nolan's big ambition was to turn this B movie plot into something moving and grand, and certainly as a filmmaker he has the ability and the flair to create a movie that transcends many of its cliches.
The beauty of space flight and several thrilling action scenes are well shot, well edited, and well acted. But the story remains a pretentious, overwrought drama—a science fiction soap opera.
Cooper to his young daughter: I'm coming back. I love you forever.
And don't get me started on the dubious science of worm holes, black holes, and the bending of the time-space continuum which allows Cooper's ten year old daughter to turn into Jessica Chastain as an adult while Cooper remains about the same age as he was when he left the earth.
Still, for all its weaknesses, INTERSTELLAR delivers the old fashioned entertainment value of a brave hero who never gives up in spite of impossible odds.
Brand: We got this far, farther than anyone in human in history.
Cooper: Well, not far enough….I'll find a way; we always have.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now firstname.lastname@example.org