I CANNOT, in good conscience, call Ad Astra a movie, though all the ingredients are there – conflict, character, and a story. There’s also a circular plot with a beginning, a middle and an end.
However, just as bread shares the same essential ingredients as beer, this ‘loaf’ came out more like a showcase of near-future space technology, instead of a film.
The story revolves around super astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), the son of another super astronaut, Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones).
After surviving a power surge that came from Neptune, Roy is tasked to contact his father, who is stationed near the planet, and try to stop these waves from disrupting Earth and its colonies on the Moon and Mars.
Ad Astra is full of drama. Most of it is told in monologues disguised as psychological evaluations. There are even moon pirates, and a buggy chase a la Mad Max.
But these are overwhelmed by the streams of possibilities to be found in the near-future realm of space.
Don’t get me wrong; I love all the space science and technology. But more than anything, I look forward to seeing astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson pick this movie’s science apart.
There are just too many plot holes, and the pacing is so slow that I got distracted.
Definitely watch Ad Astra on the biggest cinema screen you can find. You will be as intimately familiar with Pitt’s face, as you were with Ryan Gosling’s face in First Man. But with more personal space, and less shaky-cam.
I can’t deny that there is a strong world-building aspect in Ad Astra. Everything in the periphery of the main story is intriguing.
Nevertheless, I have to ask: who is this movie for?
I am looking forward to the public’s reactions to the film, yet I do not know to whom I would recommend this movie.
The scientific possibilities are far more interesting than the actual plot.
If you want a good story, there is not enough of it here. Especially not for a movie that runs for more than two hours.