2010

1984, Movie, PG, 114 mins

Review

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The sequel to a movie that didn't need a sequel is just what it was bound to be--a disappointment. Stanley Kubrick's ground-breaking science-fiction film 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY caused a sensation among audiences and critics for its obtuse, mystical impenetrability. The very fact that it stirred up such controversy is what made the film so wonderful. That was in 1968. The public might have been interested in a sequel, but only if it answered the questions raised by the original. 2010 picks up the story nine years later. The American government learns that the Soviets intend to travel to Jupiter to investigate what happened to the Discovery, which is still orbiting the huge planet. The Soviets approach the chief architect of the original mission, Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider), and request that the Americans join them because of their knowledge of the HAL 9000 computer. The American government agrees, and the two countries team up for the voyage to Jupiter. Things are complicated for the crew by news from Earth that the situation in Central America has heated up between the US and the Soviets and that nuclear war is imminent. The ship finally makes it to its destination. In an orgy of state-ofthe-art special effects, aided by the ghostly presence of Kier Dullea (last seen as the "star-child" in 2001), the monoliths reveal their secrets. Needless to say, the long-awaited secret is a bit of a letdown.

As a standard science-fiction film, 2010 is fine. It has all the right plot elements, dramatic tension, and eye-popping special effects. The performances are uniformly good, the space-adventure scenes are excitingly handled, and the reappearance of HAL 9000 and Dullea is downright eerie. Yet it's hard to get over the fact that the purpose of this film is to tear down all the awe-inspiring effects of 2001. The sequel simply fails to fascinate and awe us like the original did. The film received Oscar nominations for Best Sound, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up, and Best Visual Effects. leave a comment

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