Movie Review #324: 2001 – A Space Oddyssey (1968)

Running in circles

Marvelous and groundbreaking, yet overly tedious

Stanley Kubrick’s direction of 2001 is innovative but somehow it’s was also the film’s biggest flaw. The super slow pace of the film no doubt gave a realistic representation of space travel, but in effect it prevents one from fully appreciating the ingenuity of it all.

I tried putting myself on someone’s shoes who was already alive during the film’s initial release, and I could say the effects and the cinematography seemed truly groundbreaking and way beyond its time (that centrifugal running around the spaceship is stunning). But I don’t think the young generation (myself included) today can appreciate it as much because the wow factor of groundbreaking special effects and innovation no longer translates well due to rapid technological advancement.

The story is a bit lacking and definitely unconventional. And the conclusion has got to be one of the worst open endings in history. Although one can argue that Kubrick’s intention was to elicit a response, the way the film left me hanging annoyed me a lot and it watered down my reception of the movie’s strong points. It was very nice to see an early sci-fi flick, but I don’t think I would want to watch it again. My only advice for the curious is to be very, very patient when watching it.


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