This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Noah Bachali’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
This film is hard to rate and review because one needs to separate its factors. It is not one plot, it is not one story.
1- There is the story of HAL and Dave. The thriller that plays out due to the dangers of artificial intelligence. This story is only a tiny portion of the movie as a whole. It is used as a transition for the overarching plot:
2- the main plot is an expressive view of space, time, intelligence, gods, and life as we know it. It takes up the majority of the 2 hour and 22 minute run time with it’s “dawn of man” intro, ridiculously long Sequences of planets and ships floating about, and the acid trip of an ending that contains light sequences, quasars, and the rebirth of man.
So... I understand that the focus of the film was plot 2, and I understand the beauty of expression and admire the creation of a film that does not restrict itself to generic Hollywood plot lines. I also respect the movie as a whole for its unmatched set design, light effects, costuming, characters, and cinematography. It truly is a timeless film. However, I left disappointed. Although others may be personally impacted by this film I felt like I wasted 2 hours of my life watch slow pans of outer space while listening to disturbing, distorted screams and wails. I felt like the story of the monoliths and of the space mission to Jupiter was amazing and I was hungry for more. I believe that plot 1 could have stood alone and could have been made into its own feature length film in which I would have gladly given it a 5 star rating.