found drama

get oblique


by Rob Friesel

So I watched 2010 tonight since my local Blockbuster doesn’t seem to have 2001. This is a drag for several reasons. But for several other reasons, I’ll live with it. 2010 is good enough in it’s own right.

Potential spoilers below:

First and foremost, it stands well enough on its own. You get enough of ’01’s narrative at the outset to absorb the story and “go from there”. While this detaches you from having a well-informed reaction to certain later scenes, you’ll be able to make sense of the story.

That said, having well-informed reactions to those scenes is something that is arguably kind of important. But let’s not blame that on Peter Hyams.

Unfortunately, it suffers from some sad sci-fi sequel cliches. The protracted intro sequence re-capping almost the entire preceding film with bullet points. (Anyone who has seen Aliens know this trick.) They try to make it work in context – – and it almost flies except that the routine accomplished nothing when you consider that the dialogue that follows it does the same re-cap (but more artfully). And then there’s the whole “letters home” convention that wears thin quite quickly.

What the film has in grateful spades though: Russians. Soviet Russians. Nothing illustrates wisdom and safety’s necessity over politics quite like the Americans and Russians that we all know and love from the 1980s. Their paranoia, their callous reliance on top-down mandates. Ah! So refreshing when compared against our circa ’80s American cavalier good-sense. How silly we made each other look by way of contrasting comparisons.

Or maybe I’m just still in love with the short utilitarian haircuts on the women?

currently playing: Texture “Fallen Future”

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day. Science fiction writer by night. Weekend homebrewer, beer educator at Black Flannel, and Certified Cicerone. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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