Shooting stars isn’t enough


Warner Bros.

Anne Hathaway is sacrificing her talents on Chris Nolan

Christopher Nolan, the man responsible for “The Dark Knight Returns” and “Inception,” has provided us with a very ambitious and realistic (for the most part) sci-fi flick called “Interstellar.”

Set in a not too distant future, a blight has attacked the crops and there is no cure in sight.  Due to the lack of vegetation, dust storms are common and devastating.  Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a former NASA pilot and engineer, who after a crash left his dreams of space exploration behind and became a much needed farmer, finds his way to a secret NASA location through what appear to be supernatural events.

With people around the world starving and their time on Earth coming to an end; NASA, now an underground operation, is looking deep into space for a planet that will support human life.  A wormhole has been discovered near Saturn, and a team of astronauts sent through it to reconnoiter three planets that have been identified as possible locations to colonize.  A second team must now be sent to determine which of the three planets is the most viable.Professor Brand (Michael Caine),  the lead scientist at NASA, asks Cooper to head the second team, as he is the most experienced pilot available.  Cooper, along with Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), two other astronauts and a couple of oddly shaped robots are soon blasting off to parts unknown.

Credit must be given to Nolan for being faithful to scientific theories that are accepted as fact.  There are no spaceships in “Interstellar” that travel faster than the speed of light, and Einstein’s theory of relativity is followed pretty closely.  Hans Zimmer, who has worked with Nolan before on “The Dark Knight Trilogy and “Inception,” delivers a score that adds depth and a richness to the film.

While “Interstellar” is a feast for both your eyes and ears it lacks heart.  I never felt connected to the characters.  The acting is fine and the dialogue acceptable, yet the characters were as flat as the screen on to which the film was projected.  The cast gives good-enough performances, but there is only one person left to hold accountable: Nolan himself.  Nolan started to pull his punches the closer he got to the end of the film.  He cheats the viewer with a predictable and sappy ending.  All of the grit and ruggedness that made this movie is swept away in favor of a soft, dopey and downright ridiculous conclusion.

If you have 169 minutes that you would like to be mostly forgettable then this is the film for you.  I cannot see any reason someone would watch “Interstellar” more than once, especially since there are truly great sci-fi films like “Blade Runner,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” or “2001: A Space Odyssey” still available from which to choose.