Ad Astra | Review
Taking place in the near future, mankind has gone beyond into the unknot of space to find the possibility of extra terrestrial intelligent life in our solar system. Astronaut, Roy McBride is swept into a mission to find his long-lost father Clifford McBride who last know to be outside out the planet Neptune to find intelligent life in our solar system. The journey is to bring his father and to destroy the experiment that has gone horribly wrong aboard Clifford McBride’s ship.
Seeing the first trailer to this film, I was very interested yet speculative. It looked to be “Meet Joe Black” goes to space. (That was a running joke I had with a buddy of mine whenever we would talk about the movie.) Seeing Brad Pitt in a Sci-Fi Space Drama seemed interesting, but simultaneously it felt that this was going to be another stab at Oscar-Bait for both Pitt and Director James Gray. Unfortunately, it was just that.
Brad Pitt gave an incredible performance that was gripping on every level and brought a great level of emotion to a character that suffered from real “Daddy Issues”. In all honesty, all the other performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, and Donal Sutherland were very underwhelming and were used only to further the plot instead of the journey of the main character.
The Cinematography is something that was a key highlight to me. Director of Photography, Hoyte van Hoytema, best know for his work on “Interstellar” and “Dunkirk” with Christopher Nolan, did a marvelous job bringing a fresh take to a genre that has been explored so many times. Bold lighting choices as well as putting the camera in places that it normally wouldn’t for a film like this. Hoyte is one of my favorite Cinematographers and can’t wait for what he’s working on next, “Tenet”. Which is ironically Christopher Nolan’s next film.
The message or “moral” behind this film is something that really sticks out to me because you can look at it from two different perspectives. One being from Brad Pitts character and the other being Tommy Lee Jones’ character. With Pitt, he is trying to reach out to his father and bring him back. Someone who is so obsessed with something that he is completely unwilling to do anything else that that one thing. With Jones, it’s someone who is looking beyond to find meaning and to amount to something greater, but never realized that all he ever needed was right on front of him in his son.
Overall, I enjoyed this film. I don’t think it’s great or a masterpiece by any stretch, but definitely achieved what it sought out to be. If you have an interest in seeing this film, by all means do so. You might just end up enjoying it!
I’ll give Ad Astra a 3/5.