Top positive review
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From out of 2001's shadow comes a brilliant, but very different, sci-fi film
on 22 August 2009
2010 is a very, very different film from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 2001, the first twenty minutes are completely devoid of dialogue; in 2010, the first twenty minutes are packed full of dialogue that attempt to explain, from the perspective of the people back on Earth, what happened to the Discovery mission nine years earlier. The stage is set for another trek to Jupiter- this time frought with danger (aerobraking around Jupiter, encountering strange readings from Jupiter's moons) instead of 2001's sedate ballet.
So 2010 gets maligned, I think, for being so utterly different from 2001, and for not having the kudos of Stanley Kubrick attached.
However I think that's unfair. The special effects were no less stunning (but by 1984 cinema audiences were used to spaceships, more so than by the 1968 original). The mystery is unravelled neatly, with some good performances, especially John Lithgow and Bob Balaban. The drama's handled extremely well, with an occasional flash of humour.
It still has Arthur C Clarke's novel firmly at its root, so as a science fiction story, it's a brilliant one.
In some ways it's very dated- the not-so-cold war between Russia and the US couldn't now happen in the way it unfolds in this film- but putting some of that aside, it is a really good sci-fi film that manages to both suffer and benefit from being in 2001's shadow. Definitely worth a look, especially at Amazon's current bargain price.
This DVD has no extras, which is a shame.