Now Playing

Jackson French

Every second of “Interstellar” makes it clear that Christopher Nolan wanted this movie to be his masterpiece. Sadly, it didn’t quite work out that way. Though grandiose and visually impressive, the movie slowly stumbles through a clumsy story packed with plot holes and absurd complications.

At its beginning, “Interstellar” tells audiences that the Earth is dying — you never really see the evidence. There are plenty of dust storms in the movie’s world, but otherwise rural America looks peaceful and everyone seems to have enough to get by in relative comfort. The characters talk about how millions of people have died, but the movie itself neglects to show any kind of chaos or hardship that would make these claims believable.

For a while, it seems that the story isn’t badly conceived, just badly told. That conception ends when the movie leaves Earth. Once astronauts Amelia Brand and Cooper, played by Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey, enter a black hole, the movie dives headlong into complete failure. The story devolves into a tangled mess so confusing, ridiculous and nonsensical that no amount of eye candy can save it. From this point on, the movie is doomed to slowly wander from one wildly implausible setup to another.

Unfortunately, the characters make “Interstellar” even harder to follow. Cooper is downright irritatingly folksy. Meanwhile, Hathaway’s character is a terrible scientist making incredibly high-stakes decisions based on bizarre notions of love rather than actual science.

Nolan is trying too hard to make his own “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Every design choice in this movie feels straight ripped from the Stanley Kubrick classic. “Interstellar” even makes an attempt at a thought-provoking twist toward the end, but it only adds to the confusion. 

With a pompous and ill-conceived plot weighing it down, Interstellar shoots for the stars but ultimately comes crashing back down to Earth.