I dont know why people like it.
OK. Flameproof pants on.
I don't like this movie. One bit. Well ok, I like it two bits. But here is my problem. This film is the genesis of the genre of films I hate the most, and the fact that it does so via being arty rather than explody is no defence. This is the dawn of the special effects drenched plot-less epic. A huge amount of this film is made up of protracted special effects scenes, 3 minutes watching that space ship, 4 minutes watching that other space ship, 2 minutes watching landscape images, a further minutes watching monkeys. The characters are as shallow as a pancake and the plot is as substantial as damp tissue paper. And people even use these facts as praise for the film. Nevertheless there are two things I love, and one of them could even be used to build a film.
The first was the use of the bone at the end of the prehistory chapter. It is a metaphor for human development that really works. In my opinion, because it is the only one where the intention is clear or even decipherable, it is the only metaphor that works in this film.
The second is Hal. I freaking love Hal. If first, he has a character. Every human in this film has at most a single note character. But Hal, Hal asks some really interesting questions about humanity. Hal, despite the fact that we all seem to remember him as just a monotone voice and infer from that an emotionless character, displays a range of emotions quite likely caused by him being too good a computer. If the film had been about the crew locked in with Hal as Hal's nascent personhood caused him to become scared, confused and angry, probably with the addition of other characters who would be able to examine Hal in more detail, this would be my kind of film. Tense and interesting while still allowing the exploration of a genuine theme, if this film is meant to lead up to the question "What is out place in the world?" why not ask it via the emergence of another sentient life by our hands? You could even compare their dilemma at Hals actions with God's/The Universe's at our if you wanted.
I did not enjoy this film save for one character and one piece of imagery, however I would advise people to watch it if they are interested. While I don't think it makes sense, indeed that was the part of the aim apparently, it is notable and plenty of people seem to enjoy it. If only I did