How do you spell self-indulgent? SOLARIS, Steven Soderbergh's second film
this year following his unwatchable FULL FRONTAL, is a mind trip that has
some undeniably intriguing parts. But its few nuggets come by at a glacial
speed. Why Soderbergh expects viewers to spend almost ten dollars a ticket
to see these failed artistic experiments of his is the real mystery.
Based on Stanislaw Lem's novel, SOLARIS is set in a troubled space station
that Chris Kelvin has been asked to undertake a one man mission to save. In
a badly miscast movie, Kelvin is played by George Clooney who displays a
range of emotions that runs from roughly A to B.
Once Kelvin gets on board, he is greeted by Snow (Jeremy Davies), a nerd
whose brain appears to be on another planet. With exotic and capricious
hand gestures, Davies turns Snow into the story's Jar Jar Binks.
While visiting the doomed vessel, Kelvin reunites with someone or something
that may or may not be his dead wife, Rheya. Natascha McElhone (FEARDOTCOM)
plays Rheya with big smiles and little more. The film keeps cutting back to
Kelvin and Rheya's times together on earth. The sequences on terra firma
are as inert as the sequences set in outer space. The movie's few questions
are too easily answered, that is if you can stay awake, which is hard.
I always try to find something to enjoy in any picture. For me, the
redeeming feature this time was McElhone's face, with her gorgeous lips,
golf ball-sized eyes and creamy skin. Others may enjoy Clooney's handsome
derriere, which is shown in the buff in several scenes. I wish that the
list were longer, but that's it.
SOLARIS runs 1:35. It is rated PG-13 for "sexuality/nudity, brief language
and thematic elements" and would be acceptable for teenagers.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes