© 2023 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Interstellar' Has Plenty Of Flaws, But It's Never Boring

Well, people kept asking about it, so I finally went and saw Interstellar and found it much better than I had expected.

Its science is pretty ridiculous, and the last hour does not fit too well with the first two, but if it is looked at as fantasy instead of science fiction, it holds up pretty well. And it certainly is never boring for its full three hours.

Choke down the ideas of traveling through wormholes in space and planets orbiting around black holes that have gravity so powerful that even light cannot escape, and you're stuck only with travel at multiple times the speed of light or folding empty space like a letter for the mail. And if you can't buy into those ideas, forget about Flash Gordon and Buck Rodgers and the warp speed of "Star Trek" fame.

The notorious difference between the first two hours of Interstellar  and the last one is largely a difference between grim pessimism so hopeless as to be convincing, and some rather desperate efforts at hope at any cost-- a not unusual structural flaw in a lot of movies.

Meanwhile, there are some ugly realisms in Interstellar that I had to appreciate. For once, the idea of exploring an alternate planet does not end up on a Hawaiian seashore. If we consider what we might have to settle for if we ruin Earth, we might be more careful with what we have here.

Despite a high-pressure cast including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow and Ellen Burstyn, there is very little characterization in Interstellar, and not much emotional appeal. But there are also only droplets of talk about pseudo-science, and I found myself astonished at never being bored.