Quick Review - 2001: A Space Odyssey

The ultimate trip.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction adventure film directed by Stanley Kubrick, written by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, produced by Stanley Kubrick Productions, and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It's inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's 1951 short story, The Sentinel. It stars Keir Duella and Gary Lockwood. It was nominated for and won Best Visual Effects, while also being nominated for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Production Design. This is the first film in the Space Odyssey series. It was followed by 2010: The Year We Made Contact. In 1991, it was selected by preservation by the National Film Registry.


"Open the pod bay doors, HAL." - Dr. David Bowman

Plot


After a mysterious black monolith is discovered by humans, astronauts David Bowman and Frank Poole take to the stars alongside three hibernating passengers and an artificial intelligence known as HAL to find out the meaning behind the monolith.


My Favorite Part of 2001


I can appreciate 2001 as a masterclass in visual storytelling. Stanley Kubrick is an iconic director, and he really puts all of that talent on display in this movie. The film has barely any dialogue, and that was smart, because Kubrick lets you soak in the visual flair and incredible space aesthetic. His direction is absolutely fantastic, and I'm still in awe that he was able to create half of the visuals that he created in this movie in 1968.


My Least Favorite Part of 2001


The last twenty minutes of this movie are bananas. And not in a good way. After the story essentially ends, you get twenty minutes of trippy imagery and strange things that don't really make sense. After the HAL conflict happens, there's about ten minutes of weird colors in weird shapes, followed by an extremely creepy scene where our main character rapidly ages for no apparent reason, and capped off by a flying space baby covered in a blue orb. 2001 is meant to create more questions than answers, which I don't like...at all.


Why 2001 Doesn't Work For Me


At a whopping length of 142 minutes, it's way too slow. In 1968, the marvel of space had never really been explored in film or even in real life, so this was a cinematic achievement. In 2022, however, we have Star Wars, Star Trek, Apollo 13, and actual, real-life pictures of space. People have been to the moon. Robots have been to Mars. It's not that exciting any more, so the visuals aren't enough to keep me invested. I had trouble staying awake while watching this movie. It is probably one of the least entertaining films I've ever seen. And the last twenty minutes of the movie cement my disliking of it.


Final Score


Unfortunately, while 2001: A Space Odyssey is considered a classic by many, it didn't work for me. I can appreciate Kubrick's craft, but I can't stand the snail-like pace of the movie coincided with the painful ending.


I'm going Sour here. Age range is 10+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)


"2001: A Space Odyssey"


Fun Factor: 1.5/10

Acting: 7/10

Characters: 4/10

Story: 3/10

Quality: 8/10


Directed by Stanley Kubrick


Rated G for frightening images, disturbing themes, thematic elements


Released on April 3, 1968


2 hours and 38 minutes


Keir Duella as Dr. David Bowman

Gary Lockwood as Dr. Frank Poole

William Sylvester as Dr. Heywood Floyd

Douglas Rain as HAL 9000

Leonard Rossiter as Dr. Andrei Smyslov

Margaret Tyzack as Elena