Starring: Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban
Directed by: Peter Hyams
Written By: Peter Hyams
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 54 min
I have a lot of respect for Peter Hyams for taking on a sequel to what is possibly the most influential science fiction film of all time. I also have a lot of respect for this film. Sure, if you were doing a direct comparison, 2001 is a better film in many ways. But I think it’s a little unfair to compare them. They are after all, completely different beasts.
2010 is much more audience friendly, and tells a straight forward story that’s easier to understand and enjoy. I think this is partly due to it being based on an already completed novel by Arthur C. Clark. Whereas 2001 was written by Clark and Kubrick, as the movie was being made. That difference I believe results in 2010 having a much more utilitarian feel to it, right down to the production design. There is a clear structure to the story, and the characters are more developed. 2010 is also anchored by some very decent performances from Roy Scheider, and Bob Balaban. All in all, while this film does continue the odyssey, it should be judged on its own merits rather than be measured against Kubrick’s classic.
If you watched 2001: A Space Odyssey and hated it. I think you might actually prefer 2010. It clears up some of the mystery and tells a straight forward story. Die hard fans of 2001 will probably not feel the same way.
As I said the design of this film is pretty utilitarian, so it’s not as pretty as 2001. Strangely the effects haven’t held up as well as 2001’s either. A regular dvd or streaming viewing at home is probably your best bet.
Best Moments: << spoilers >>
There are two moments I really enjoy in the movie. The opening conversation between Dimitri Moisevitch (Dana Elcar) and Dr Heywood Floyd (Rob Scheider) as they gingerly discuss the potential joint Russian US mission to Jupiter.
Near the end of the film, I’ve always enjoyed the moment between Dr. R. Chandra (Bob Baladan) and Hal 9000. Dr Chandra basically asks Hal to end his life to save the crew, and his honestly wins Hal over.