It's definitely a division maker, a film that splits it's viewers down the
middle. If you're a 2001 fan then you'll hate it - the sense of mystery
discovery is lost as events and motivations are layed-out and explained
every step of the way. If you didn't like 2001, wondering aloud what the
heck you just saw, I suggest you do see 2010 since you'll love the
directness of the workmanlike treatment.
It's not a a put-down - it's just that the styles are so completely
different that you have to consider the messenger as much as the message.
2001 was visionary in nearly every sense the word has -- it threw out the
concept of the narrative (visual or otherwise) in an attempt to make you
reach your own, personal conclusion of what happened. Rebirth? Ascension?
Some Nietche-ish evolution to a "superman"? You tell me -- 2001 expects
quite a lot from the viewer that 2010 would much rather even mention.
By comparison, 2010 is very much an old-fashioned Hollywood movie. It
explains *everything*, step by step, and includes a Roy Scheider
to help thread the small gaps in time between scenes together. The voice
over is often beyond silly - it's in the lyric of a series of emails from
Heywood to his wife who, it should be noted, is fearful for her husband's
safety. Any spouse sitting through a reading of the atmosphere braking
technique will probably not sleep for weeks. Any husband who could write
that deserves a slap for scaring the beegeezus out of her.
2010 is not a strong film - frankly, it's quite derivative. It's visual
sensibilities leech directly into "Alien" while inside the spacecraft
the control buttons and displays on the Russian craft, to the lighting of
the of EVA room as Baskin and Lithgow take their walk to Discovery, to the
smoky "atmosphere" in the interiors when discussing the "troubles" at
Outside, Hyams tries and is successful in the sense of scope and grandeur
space, and out pitiful size in relation to the course of the Universe.
he apes Kubrick, probably to establish a sense of continuity between the
films, he is at his best in the action scenes as the Leanov (sp?) enters
Jupiter space. Either way, you watch this movie and get the feeling you've
seen it all before.
To be fair, Scheider is very good in his role of Heywood Floyd, that is if
you dismiss the style of the previous occupant of that role, William
Sylvester, as only a Kubrick mannequin. Again, the camps are divided -- I
believe I understand the tact Kubrick chose to take, the sense of human
alienation and evolutionary boredom, and while 2010 puts "real people" in
space and makes the voyage to the stars more human, this wasn't the goal
Kubrick. Kubrick wanted to show man at a spiritual, cultural and
evolutionary dead-end, and so human reactions (like 2001's Bowman going
after HAL) only escape from people as their vestiges of civilization fail
them. Different approaches, different movies. So why compare them? Well,
life's just not fair, now is it?
If you really don't need to compare the two, you can enjoy 2010. It's not
bad film, it just doesn't give much credit to the intelligence of the
audience. That may not be a bad thing, so long as it's entertaining
Jim Carrey/Adam Sandler joke here) and 2010 can be entertaining at times.
long as you dismiss 2001 as a separate work of art.
If you have the time and the patience, see 2001 twice, giving yourself a
week or two to let it all set in, and then remember that not everything in
the Universe has added value by being strictly described.
Actually, whenever I watch 2010, I often wonder if Bob Balaban, hanging in
HAL's memory center, is really as nauseous as he appears. And to the
who believe Kubrick was egotistical for destroying his sets, he did so
because of what happened after Spartacus: Once production has ceased and
company left Italy, nearly every gladiator film of the '60 were shot on
old sets, some even coming out before Spartacus did.
Stanley Kubrick and Steve Reeves? Now THAT'S the ultimate