Between Interstellar’s fairly banal title, the movie’s lead actor, and the three hour runtime, I pretty much knew what I was getting myself into, but I just never realized I would be cackling as I left the theater. My girlfriend and I were cracking so many jokes (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe one was the best—to be explained later), I’m pretty sure we even drew a stink-eye from an exiting mom and daughter couple who must have thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
The plot: at the beginning of the movie, Cooper the corn farmer, played by a suspiciously tan MC, follows an Indian drone into a cornfield, ostensibly so he can hack into the aircraft (Ostensibly would have been a better title for the movie) and harvest its parts for later study. From the start, we know Cooper is a great father because he comes inches within driving both of his children off of a cliff and into a lake for the sake of tracking a random drone. Next, in the span of fifteen to twenty minutes runtime, Cooper discovers a pseudo Area-51, becomes recruited by said Area-51 scientists to save all of humanity, and decides to leave his entire family behind for the same purpose. Cooper’s daughter (later played by the lovely Jessica Chastain) is particularly happy about this decision.
MC and company then take off into a wormhole in order to find a sustainable planet. The first planet seems pleasant enough; there’s a lot of water and even mountains, until one of those mountains turns out to be a colossal tidal wave that creates a very unique scenario for a movie—a surfing spaceship. Cooper of course turns out to be a very good spaceship surfer and the explorers make it out alive after only losing one of their fellow explorers and something like decades in space time. Did I mention there’s lots of sciencey space time garble in this movie? Don’t worry, Professor Nolan makes sure that even if you don’t understand any of it, you don’t really need to.
On the next planet, the explorers find lots of ice and guess who, Matt Damon! Matt Damon turns out to be a really unpleasant astronaut and ends up destroying a good chunk of their space station after he tries to enter an improperly sealed space door (looks painful). One of my main problems with sci-fi movies like this one are the obligatory “outside of the space station camera shots”, in which a bunch of white satellite Lego-looking part are supposed to be decipherable to the viewing audience. Nolan, obviously worried about this, has to show us the shot of the space door being improperly locked practically 9 different times. Yes, we get it—Matt Damon shouldn't open the door.
For the climax of the movie, we find Cooper stuck in a fifth dimensional bookcase (hence the wardrobe joke** ) so he can explain to his daughter something about gravity, in Morse code, through the second hand of a watch… The audience is supposed to be okay with this because “they,” a.k.a. the fifth dimensional beings, a.k.a. humans from the future, have orchestrated everything. Ta-da!
** The artificially intelligent robot stuck in the fifth dimensional bookcase with Cooper also happens to look frighteningly similar to a bookcase itself. Unsure what Nolan’s intention was here. **