Far out, man.
Like, far freaking out.
First reaction to “Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience.”
Then, on further reflection, this: Wow. Just wow.
From Terrence Malick comes the trippiest, most visually mind-blowing motion picture since Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” If psychedelics are still a thing these days, then this is a must-see movie for viewers who are chemically enhanced.
Filmed with the most up-to-date cinema technology and showing on the biggest screen in Washington — The Boeing IMAX Theater at the Pacific Science in Seattle, the only theater that’s playing it in this state — “Voyage of Time” is, I’d argue, the perfect movie to be shown there. It’s big — Like the universe big! — and as such needs the biggest possible screen to present it.
It’s essentially a plotless montage, a spellbinding filmic tapestry. Its visuals are out of this world, quite literally in the early going, as it presents the story of the creation of the universe. It starts at the beginning — of everything. Starts with limitless void and the Big Bang. In 45 minutes it proceeds through the formation of galaxies, to the birth of Earth with volcanoes and deluges and single-celled life forms and undulating jellyfish and dinosaurs and a dino-killing asteroid strike and early man and finally great modern cities with spires alight with glowing incandescence and then, boom, back to blackness. The end. Of everything.
(Malick also made a 90-minute 35mm version of this material, narrated by Cate Blanchett.)
Much of the imagery is accompanied by massed choirs keening wordlessly on the soundtrack, reminiscent of the score of “2001’s” monolith and Stargate sequences.
In a sense, “Voyage” is an expansion of Malick’s 2011 “The Tree of Life,” with the Brad Pitt earthbound sequences trimmed out and that movie’s early scenes of creation turned into a whole movie.
Memorable. But also, more than a little risible. Pitt is back in this one, delivering Malick’s narration, which amounts to incredibly pretentious stream-of-consciousness cosmic mumbo-jumbo. Pitt speaks in deep godlike tones, introducing the movie with the words, “Dear child,” and later invites that child, that is to say, us, to wonder at “every atom … every particle … blazing.” He speaks of “things opposite, bound together” and finally asks, “What is it, this miracle? This gift … Infinite, like you, child … born in light.”
Or to put it another way:
Wow. Just wow.
Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience
☆☆☆ out of 5
Cast: Narration by Brad Pitt.
Director: Terrence Malick.
Running time: 45 minutes.
Rated: Unrated, but suitable for all ages.