Friday, November 21, 2014

Interstellar, the Mr. Efficient take: "dumber than Lucy"

Mr. Efficient, a.k.a. Kyle, sent a comment about my review of this movie that was so long that rather than publish the comment, I am, with Kyle's permission, giving it a full blog entry. 

I think Interstellar does actually have pretty good (though highly improbable) science. My problem with the movie is that at every point every character does the most retarded thing possible. MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW.

1. The movie postulates a world in which farming monoculture has left human food production vulnerable to fungal blights resulting in mass starvation. Rather than invest in blight-resistent GMO research or improving crop diversity, humanity chooses to (a) raise all remaining children to be farmers, (b) eat nothing but corn, and (c) secretly construct a space colony.

2. As the movie opens, Matthew McConaughey discovers that gravity works differently in his daughter's bedroom than anywhere else in the universe. In the real world, this would be literally the most amazing discovery in the history of physics. This discovery upends everything we think we understand about the universe. Instead of summoning all the world's greatest physicists to study the phenomenon, McConaughey shrugs and drives to another state.

3. In that state, he finds NASA, who have constructed a launching gantry in the middle of their office space, where anyone opening a conference room door at the wrong time will die a fiery death.

4. NASA have discovered a wormhole to another star system with 12 potentially habitable planets. Instead of sending cheap probes to fly by those planets and return pictures, they've sent an expensive manned mission to each planet. Although NASA has a collection of fertilized eggs and an artificial womb that are the size of a wastebasket and could repopulate the human race on any world, they have not sent this with any of their astronauts.

5. McConaughey and three people he's just met go through the wormhole into the other star system. One of the 12 planets orbits a super-massive black hole rotating at nearly the speed of light. Unlike the other eleven planets, this one is subject to relativistic time distortion, wracked by tidal forces, and covered entirely in liquid. They decide to land there because, you know, IT MIGHT BE HABITABLE.

I could go on, but it only gets worse from there. This movie was dumber than Lucy and less fun.

Obviously, I disagree with Kyle about the movie as a whole, but there is little I would argue in the list above.  As I said in my review, how you feel about this movie will depend a great deal on what you want from it.  


Kyle said...

For example, I wanted not-retardation.

Mark said...

I think that much was clear.


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