A new Christopher Nolan film is one sure way to get me to the cinema. Every single one of his films ensures that I am going to be entranced, enthralled, see Michael Caine appear and, usually, a little confused. His films require a level of thinking and intelligence that would make Michael Bay’s head explode! Ever since he gave us momento we know what to expect. His re-boot of the Batman franchise from something awful to something that will live long another perfect example of his ability. Then there is inception. Arguably the best film of the past 20 years, one that stands up after numerous repeat viewings.
So it was with some excitement that I went to see his latest movie this morning, hoping to see him take Sci-Fi to another level. So did he manage to do this? Hopefully without spoiling anything here is my thoughts.
The film opens with Matthew McConaughy playing Cooper working as a farmer, we are explained that the earth is dying and Cooper is growing corn with his father (John Lithgow) and 2 children. During another dust storm, that are blighting the planet, his daughter Murphy and he discover what appears to be some binary numbers laid out on the floor after the dust settles. This leads them to a location where they meet Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine. And discover the requirement to go into space to save earth. I’ll leave the story there.
McConaughey is quite superb, ever since he stopped making dreadful Rom-Coms and took acting seriously his ability has shone through in many forms. Here he plays cooper perfectly with a real mix of emotion and cold hard realism. His emotional scenes with his young daughter, played by Macenzie Foy are brilliant. She is one to look out for in future.
The space scenes are spectacular, one thing all Nolan’s film demonstrate is a remarkable quality and depth to the visual experience. He long ago worked out that you can give a proper cinema experience without resorting to chucking gimmicks at the screen. Throughout the entire spectacular viewing experience we are treated to something special.
Sound wise, again he uses sound and music brilliantly, much of the film is silent – as surely space would be. He uses music to reflect the key moments well and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack supports this.
If I had one criticism, there is one 15 minute scene which almost ruins the film if taken out of context and this scene is the difference between this being a brilliant film and the greatest Sci-Fi ever made. But the influence from so many other films is clear to see. From 2001 through to Event Horizon this film really pay homage to a genre that, often gets it so wrong.
So ultimately this isn’t his finest work, but frankly a bloody good Christopher Nolan film is a million times better than the entire works of most directors. It’s a proper, grown up, though provoking blockbuster and one that must be seen on the biggest screen you can. You will not be disappointed.