Christopher Nolan is regarded by many – himself included, you can’t help thinking – as a genius of contemporary cinema. Notwithstanding his rambunctious Batman efforts, my personal opinion is that he is a crashing, life-threatening bore.
If, however, you are a fan of the preposterously pretentious Inception (2010) and Memento (2000), you won’t have a bar of such criticism and undoubtedly will love this. But for mine, Nolan (and his brother Jonathan) have mastered better than any other current filmmakers the tricky but hugely profitable skill of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Set some time in the near future, the movie begins promisingly enough with Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), his father and two kids (Cooper is yet another Hollywood widower) eking out a living in the post-apocalypse corn belt of the US. The environmental disaster that we are hurtling towards has finally happened and Earth’s survivors are desperate for food.
Cooper, a former NASA pilot, is battling to raise his son and daughter while at the same time dealing with the dust storms that choke the landscape.
A stone’s throw away, Professor Brand (Michael Caine) heads a humungous science project that has been sending people into space in search of viable destinations for suffering humanity to flee to – amazing that nobody knew it was there, but it IS the mid-west, I guess.
Anyway, Cooper is roped into the project and with Amelia (Anne Hathaway), a couple of other astronauts and an anthropomorphic robot, they head off into the great unknown – new-age cowboys with quantum physics, black holes, the mechanics of time etc as the injuns.
Their adventure is wrapped in mumbo-jumbo philosophising, like the emperor in his new clothes.
It dragged on and on, but when Caine carked it quoting Dylan Thomas (yawn) the end at least was in sight… but wait!
Matt Damon turns up in his bubble helmet!
Oh no, I groaned, does this mean that there’s at least another half-hour to endure?
Sadly, it did.
~ John Campbell