Ad Astra ★★★☆☆

Ad Astra
IMDb Rating | 7.1
Humpo Show Rating | 6.5
Starring: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, 
Director: James Gray
Plot Summary: Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe. (IMDb)

Ad Astra

Thirty years ago, Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) led a voyage into deep space, but the ship and crew were never heard from again. Now his son (Brad Pitt) must embark on a daring mission to Neptune to uncover the truth about his missing father and a mysterious power surge that threatens the stability of the universe.

Ad Astra is a very different sci-fi film in comparison to others I have watched from the same genre. So much so, that I feel the film is less about science fiction and all that it entails, but rather about McBride’s personal journey – space is merely the playground in which the film plays out. With this in mind, I can see why the film student and dedicated critics have loved the film – Pitt delivers a performance that is right up the Academy’s street; and the storyline has deeper meaning that may bore many cinemagoers expecting a thrilling action film, while keeping those interested in such things, absorbed.

Personally, I found the storyline uninteresting. Plain and simple. There wasn’t enough in McBride’s storyline to keep me hooked. It felt very linear…if that’s the right word. Earth -> Moon -> Mars -> Neptune. The small diversions on the way were confusing and felt out of place. The monkey scene seemed like it was only there so McBride could take over as pilot and the agenda of the space pirates wasn’t made very clear at all. Besides these couple of diversions, there wasn’t much in the way of events taking place and the lack of any entertainment was evident.

The highlight of the film for me was the cinematography. There was some incredible shots on Mars in particularly – it felt like some of them were straight out of Blade Runner 2049. While on Mars and the Moon, the scenes were great as sneak peek at what humans would most likely end up doing once they start building and colonising on them – airport-style check in, fast food restaurants and shops. It feels spot on the money and very possible.

Ad Astra was a bit underwhelming for me. Even for personal stories, there needs to be some spark, and sadly it didn’t have one.


The Humpo Show | Richard

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