Directed by Peter Hyams and based on Arthur C Clarke’s novel
The sequel to 1968’s cult science fiction phenomenon 2001 A Space Odyssey is an entirely contrasting stylistic work.
The optimistic emphasis remains the same.
The scenario of Russian/American relations is an additional element in “2010” that was only alluded to in 2001.
It capitalizes on the issue of nuclear war that caught the public attention during the 1980’s and solves the dilemma with its lingering evolutionary optimism that featured in the earlier film.
The finale of 2001 left the black monolith residing near Jupiter a mystery, the ship’s central computer HAL was terminated and the remaining crew member, Dr David Bowman, presumed dead.
A team of Russians travel to Jupiter to discover what happened to Discovery 1 and only an elite number of Americans can help them unravel this deep space odyssey.
With their cold war enemies, Dr Heywood Floyd (this time played by Roy Scheider), now a university lecturer, is propelled back into space with Chandra (Bob Balaban), the designer of HAL, and an engineer (John Lithgow), during a period of national tension between the two nuclear power states.
There are a few ethereal touches, less so than 2001, like when the “dead” Bowman reappears, and Richard Elmund offers, even when viewed in the new millennium, convincing special effects.
But it lacks the panache, style, contemplative verve, and dramatic seriousness and impact of its predecessor,
2010 is still an involving experience, at times suspenseful, a genuinely likable and slightly satisfying film.
[First published at entertainmentnutz.com/movies, 2002]