It seems that for the longest time, “space movies” were big budget action adventure things. In the middle of those blockbuster types, you’d have the occasional artsy space movie. But it feels like recently the ratio has flipped. Most of the space movies are artsy. This is another one of those.
It’s the future! Brad Pitt is an astronaut! His dad is Tommy Lee Jones and he was an astronaut! Daddy was last seen on a mission to Neptune and has been presumed dead for years. But maybe he’s not? Brad is sent on a mission to go and find his father because bad stuff is happening on earth that he might be responsible for.
Have you seen 2001: A Space Odyssey? I feel like my thoughts towards Ad Astra followed basically the exact same trajectory, beat by beat. I was really into the movie to begin with. I loved seeing what life is like in the space age according to this film, the way that travel is commercialized and the little bits of technology that help along the way. But the film was constantly on a slow down, eventually reaching a narrative halt (from my perspective at least). I went from excitedly following the story to fighting to stay awake and finding that my watch said it was only two minutes later than the last time I checked. It all looked amazing, but I need more narrative action.
Brad Pitt is one of my absolute favorite actors. I think his demeanor felt the role very well, because we needed someone who is very calm and cool and collected (Brad in a nutshell). But somehow, I just don’t buy him as an astronaut. I mean, it was inevitable that he’d play one some day, but the suit never looked like it fit him. It really did look like a dude in a costume.
Still I’m seeing lots of positive reviews for this. Some from people who are connecting to the father/son storyline (I never really latched on to it) and others who are marveling at the cinematography and technical aspects. That’s cool. I’ll just go watch Apollo 13 or The Martian again
Ad Astra – \m/ \m/ \n