Christopher Nolan’s interminable ‘Interstellar’ falls flat

STAR DRECK: Despite impressive star power from Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Anne Hathaway, above, ‘Interstellar’ is fairly leaden.

STAR DRECK: Despite impressive star power from Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, and Anne Hathaway, above, ‘Interstellar’ is fairly leaden.

Rated PG-13.
At AMC Loews Boston Common, Regal Fenway Stadium and suburban theaters.
Grade: C+

A bloated, save-the-world sci-fi extravaganza headed by Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, a pilot with a righteous drawl and all the right stuff, Christopher Nolan’s $165 million, magnum opus “Interstellar” left me numb and almost deaf.

The film, also featuring Anne Hathaway as annoying space traveler Amelia Brand and Michael Caine as her venerable NASA scientist father, is a season of “The X-Files” wrapped around an episode of “The Twilight Zone” with as many twists and turns as a whole-grain pretzel and as many guest appearances as “The Love Boat.”

Vying for the right to have his movie compared with Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Nolan apparently thought it had to be twice as long and have twice the mind-blowing “trip” sequences. At 169 minutes, “Interstellar” is an interminable cautionary fable along the lines of the ’50s disaster film “When Worlds Collide.”

Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar

Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar

Opening heartland scenes set the dire, dystopian circumstances. Earth is a dust bowl; humans need a new home, and a mysterious “they” have pointed the way: a wormhole near Saturn. “Coop” is a widower/former-pilot-turned-farmer.

He has a 15-year-old son, Tom (Timothee Chalamet), a brilliant 10-year-old daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy), as in “Murphy’s Law,” and a father-in-law (John Lithgow).

When Coop is recruited by Dylan Thomas buff Professor Brand for a years-long mission to find a new home for the people of Earth, Murph, who thinks she has a ghost in her room, rebels and grows up to be that woman from “Zero Dark Thirty,” who is now in every movie (i.e., Jessica Chastain).

My inner theory of space-time relativity tells me that “dark knight” Nolan and his movie got lost in the wormhole, too.

If your idea of fun is being beaten to death by a theater chain’s subwoofer and another bombastic Hans Zimmer score, and if you think “Inception” is the Holy Grail of films about alternate realities, then have at “Interstellar.”

But half the lines of dialogue were unintelligible and the other half techno-babble and family-value platitudes. The best thing about the film are its robots ­— monolith-shaped, shiny metal blocks with display screens and the voices of young, rebellious male Marines.

The screenplay by Nolan and his brother and longtime collaborator Jonathan Nolan is the usual mix of pyrotechnics and interlocking, Rubik’s Cube-like puzzle pieces.

I couldn’t figure out which was more excessive, the mumbo, the jumbo, the weepy hand-wringing, Casey Affleck’s grown up beardo Tom or Matt Damon’s Mad Hatter stranded spaceman.

“Interstellar” is a more pretentious, less plausible “Armageddon.” Nolan is a brilliant visual stylist, but “Interstellar” is a lot of sci-fi sound and fury, signifying not much.

(“Interstellar” contains intense action scenes, a sudden death and brief strong language.)

Source: Boston Herald

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