From what you can guess about my reviews so far, you may be able to conclude that I tend to only watch horror and science fiction movies, and I’m only going to add to that idea by reviewing the newest sci-fi film from 20th Century Fox, “Ad Astra.”
“Ad Astra” was released on Sept. 20 and stars Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones and Liv Tyler with James Gray at the helm as director and writer. This film tells the story of Roy McBride and his journey into the great abyss of space in search of his father who went missing around the planet Neptune.
This film has the classic sci-fi story with a rescue mission of a lost space traveler on an estranged planet somewhere in the cosmos but with a small twist: the vast cosmos is our solar system. Where many space rescue films write in their own planets and their own technology (not including “The Martian”), “Ad Astra” used our current technology and understanding of the solar system to make a space adventure with a few tweaks to make the journey more realistic.
One of the things that I actually liked most about the film was that it was based in currently used technology as well as the fact that they are giving space exploration the central light when it comes to funding and effort. Essentially, this future that we see can be achieved but only if we make the effort to make it a reality.
Another great thing about this film is how great the cinematography is and how realistic it looks on the screen. The cinematographer for this film was Hoyte van Hoytema, who is most famous for his work on the 2014 film, “Interstellar,” and his presence shines through in the production. “Interstellar” is known for its immense beauty and “Ad Astra” takes that effort of presenting the spectacle of space to our screens and dials it to 1000.
One of the negative things that people will say about this film is a really slow burn. This film is a space exploration film more than a sci-fi action movie that focuses on the limitless possibilities that can come out of the adventures into the cosmos. I can see why people feel that this is a negative trait but it is the reality “Ad Astra” is portraying to the audience.
Outer space is vast, and it takes quite a bit of time and thinking to get from one end of the solar system to the other. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a few big set pieces in this film, one of which is a gunfight on the surface of the moon, so if you stick around, you get to see some really cool moments in this film.
Overall, this film is a testament to what the human race can achieve, and the beauty that can be seen just from our local cosmic address. What we are seeing on screen is our solar system, and for those who do not have the required degrees or credentials to see it for themselves, this film shows us what the astronauts are seeing. If I had to give a two-word review of this film, I would just say that this movie is unbelievably beautiful.
The main message of the movie, not including the written narrative, is the idea of space exploration and what can be achieved when we focus on it. If physicists and space exploration companies received the attention that this movie gives it, we, as the human race, can go far beyond the stars and journey into the true cosmos.