2001: A Space Odyssey
is one of the iconic Science Fiction
films of the 20th century, and one of the most painstaking in terms of its attention to detail
, soundly averting Space Does Not Work That Way
. It's also one of the classic Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
stories, featuring all the tropes that audiences have come to expect — Precursors
intervening in human evolution, mysterious alien artifacts, Alien Abductions
— but in a way that was new and revolutionary for the time. Moreover, it has perhaps the most well-known example of AI Is A Crapshoot
ever committed to film in the murderous rampage of the HAL 9000 computer.
The trouble is that all of this comes at the expense of watchability, especially if you are the kind of viewer with little patience for extremely long establishing scenes, a dramatic lack
of exposition to explain the odder plot elements, and an ending that's a complete and utter Mind Screw
for anyone who does not read the novel (and in some cases even then). On the other hand, it can be a lot of fun to explain to your friends how Hollywood Science
has made Reality Is Unrealistic
into such an art form with science fiction movies that someone watching 2001
for the first time in this day and age might actually be startled and even disappointed by, for example, the lack of sound in space. You'll also enjoy the touches of Zeerust
, such as the Pan Am space shuttles, Bell space telephones, and the Hilarious In Hindsight
political state of the world.
However, your greatest challenge will be simply to understand the plot.