Yesterday, I went to see Interstellar, Chrisopher Nolan’s new sci-fi movie that sounded very interesting to me, as it features a wormhole and travel to another galaxy, and a dystopian starting point. I was very disappointed though, both in terms of Physics/Logic, storyline and underlying ideology.
So here is what annoyed me:
- The movie fluctuates between attempting to be “hard sci-fi” on the one hand and totally cheesy fantasy on the other hand every few minutes. This is extremely annoying. I would have found it easier to just watch a cheesy fantasy. There seemed to be short spells of the movie where I almost found that the physics made sense, only to descend into complete bullshit again. Each time this transition happened, I was completely catapulted out of the story, which was very hard to stay engrossed in anyway.
- There are so many mistakes in logic and physics on so many levels, and the main characters behave absolutely idiotically. Even the most basic plot of the movie suffers from the most simple, stupid time travel paradoxon (person goes back in time in order to tell himself things that will make it possible to go back in time! Some people from the future made us a wormhole that made the future they live in possible!). People behave absolutely idiotically (Just one example: “Going to that other planet will cost us several months of time and fuel! Let’s instead go to the planet where due to time-dilation an hour-long excursion will cost us 7 years, because the planet is closer! Why go there in the first place? Because communication with this the person sent to this planet just broke off recently, and so was sending for several years, so the planet must have great conditions! And we forget conveniently that this means she only sent for 1 hour in her time before she probably died! And we forget to actually take an image of the planet to find out it is completely covered in water and plagued by absolutely impossible waves!” Urgh. So many things like this, it is impossible to list them. The robots are awful. And there are frozen clouds that shatter if you hit them!
3. The neo-conservative, backwards, strangely patriotic (?) ideology behind the movie is what irritated me most though. Here’s some of it:
- Earth is becoming inhabitable. This is apparently not because of climate change, no, don’t worry! Everyone in the movie is still driving with huge trucks that seem to burn oil. Conveniently the problems come from some kind of biblical “plagues”, that apparently are impossible to fight, because the bacteria/bugs involved breathe nitrogen, but also produce nitrogen and remove oxygen (how ?!), and somehow there are large dust storms on top of it, who knows why! We don’t see anyone attempting to do anything against these problems.
- The only place where anything is apparently still happening on Earth is the American midwest. Here we have the corn fields, the brave farmer that is going to save the world, the physics professor, NASA (by coincidence located nearby the farmer and somehow secretely sending rockets into space) and everything that ever makes an appearance on the scene on Earth. The rest of the world, play absolutely no role, except for a pointless Indian drone. Maybe they have all died? Who cares about that though. At least the first outposts of humanity in another galaxy proudly fly a large American flag.
- Apparently, there is no way that the future of the human race can be saved by boring things like climate protocols, biologically fighting the plagues, moving food production to the oceans or underground etc. No, the only way we can be saved is by magic, thinly disguised as “crazy physics” mixed with five-dimensional love, which will enable humanity to colonize a planet in another galaxy. Yes, another galaxy. So the underlying daydream of this movie is that we can gladly devastate Earth because quantum-gravity-love-craziness will teleport us into absolutely crazy distances, leaving behind Earth as far as one could possibly imagine. Our galaxy contains hundreds of millions of stars and planets, but apparently, they are all not suitable and not far away enough. We need a wormhole to another galaxy, that was put there by ourselves from the future, who have apparently managed to map out our galaxy and even other galaxies and found nothing better than the rocky barren planet that is sold as the solution to all problems in the end.
- Thanks to an absolutely crazy, wrong scene in which the main protagonist maps out the inside of a black hole, humankind can advance to the next stage and now move in five dimensions, transcend gravity etc! But somehow, all they seem to do with it for now is build big space stations close to Saturn, where they (of course) play baseball! Yes, that is right. We are now being able to manipulate time, gravity and space, but who cares, the most important thing is that we can play baseball on green lawns without those annoying dust storms (phew!), and apparently it was easier to make this happen inside a space station instead of on Earth. Yes, great news, the American sports have survived even though Earth has become inhabitable and our potential new world looks not very inviting either. This is a happy ending, or not?
Add to that a twisted, slightly repulsive love story between father and daughter, whose problems are largely caused by bad communication (why did the father not tell her that he is talking to her from the future directly, and save everyone a lot of time and effort?), shallow and unlikable protagonist, and an over-the-top lenth of 169 minutes.