I was pleasantly surprised by this gem from Nolan in the vein of 2001 Space Odyssey and The Fountain, delving into the outer limits of our celestial knowledge. It might not be Nolan’s most polished work from a scripting standpoint, but it moved along at a regular pace and kept me interested. I was particularly drawn to the exploration of various new planets, particularly thrilled by the visual display of each. I felt as though there were intriguing discoveries to be found if only the movie had been a miniseries and had time to find them. The cast was superb, with almost every supporting role filled by top notch big names performing their best. In fact, I think it is the cast who propel this movie forward the most, advancing the plot more than the actual plot does. I tend to think this to be as a movie should be. The robots were brilliantly designed in that they were built into the story’s grain without fanfare, playing as much a comic relief role as can be expected in a Nolan film. The tie-ins were intriguing if not quite as well processed as, say, Inception. The heartfelt moments were genuine and touching without allowing for any sap. The visuals were rapturous. Most of all the ending left me wanting more in a good way, as though I could easily see the story continue down further pioneering routes. On the other hand, I had no problem with the ending and felt satisfied.
There were a couple of one liner tag lines built into the dialog that seemed a bit contrived, as though they were present for the sole purpose of being in the trailer. I don’t really like the line about how we were born on earth but never meant to die here. The reason I don’t like it is that it doesn’t seem to fit the ethos of the movie. Why were we not meant to die here? What was the preordained goal to move on from Earth? If that was the theme, it wasnt captured by the actual film. A better one might have been “The human race has always been instilled with an explorer spirit. It is the only thing that can save us.” This brings me to my last caveat to totally enjoying the story.
The one thing that was disheartening, though admittedly subtle, was the idea that we are our own guiding force. In essence, we are literally our own gods. I will not explain further lest i spoil the movie, but as a Christian I would love to see a space movie from a Christian perspective, exploring this great universe from a Biblical worldview. But again, this underlying theme that we guide ourselves as gods is so subtle it might not even be intentional. From a humanist perspective it makes brilliant, though far fetched, sense and helps to explain etherial guidiance from an athiest understanding.
Nolan is not a preacher of his personal beliefs by any means, and I appreciate that he is not one to blatantly lecture us on any topic. I also appreciate that he did not succumb to a story of the future perils of global warming. He took his own route for the end of the world and it works much better than climate change alarmism.
Overall I give it 4 wormholes to great storytelling.