Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Movie Matter: 5/10
“Ad Astra” is sci-fi-space-thriller starring Brad Pitt as Roy McBride, a fearless and well-experienced “space cowboy” tasked with traveling across the solar system to rescue his well-respected and decorated astronaut father, Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), who has been missing in space for years.
When Roy was a boy, his father Cliff (aka dad-astra) embarked on the world’s first space expedition to Neptune, leaving a young Brad-astra without a dad-astra, which was kind of sad-astra.
“The Lima Project” was a space mission devised and executed by Clifford with the hopes of finding extraterrestrial life on Neptune, but when Mission Control loses contact with Cliff’s spacecraft, he and his crew are never heard from again.*
Until sixteen years later, when Mission Control gets a distress message from Cliff, and let’s just say Cliff is ready to jump off a cliff (good things there’s no gravity).
“Ad Astra” premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2019, and received high praise from “critics”, which surprised me a little bit. Although, it certainly had some redeemable qualities.
Brad Pitt aka “The Brad-stranaught” was exceptional as usual, and I don’t think they could have casted a cooler, more level-headed individual than Brad Pitt.
Director James Gray has remained unclear on how far into the future the movie is supposed to be set, but scientists speculate that planet to planet space travel could be possible as soon as 2050, which is insane!
Neil de Grass Tyson (a well-respected astrophysicist) stated that “Ad-astra” is the most realistic on-screen representation of what outer space is truly like. In other words, outer space is dead silent, and extremely boring (sort of like my life).
Tommy Lee Jones was a weird fit for the role of Clifford McBride (dad-astra). I try not to be too harsh on actors who have to play weird characters like a man stuck in space for 16 years, but yikes that was uncomfortable.
I think it was an odd move to cast one of the “Men in Black” (1997) movie stars in a serious space movie.
I’m not usually a “space movie guy” so I might be slightly biased. Other than Interstellar (2014) with Matthew McConaughey, and Independence Day (1999) with Will Smith, I’ve never been hyped on alien/space films.
I thought “The Martian” (2016) with Matt Damon was pretty lame, but that movie received great reviews
I also thought Gravity (2014) with Sandra Bullock was weak, but the film somehow won an astounding TEN Oscars, so I might just be “lost in space” when it comes to this genre of movies.
The movie comes out at an interesting time given the recent launching of SpaceX, multiple government-confirmed UFO sightings, and what seems like a general curiosity of the great beyond.
Brad Pitt narrates the movie, which gets old pretty fast, but I think it was necessary in a movie that is silent 75% of the time.
A major theme in the film is the idea that humans take earth for granted, which is probably true.
At the end of the day “Ad Astra” was a pretentious film with some redeemable qualities (mainly Brad Pitt).
The movie is a so-called “slow burn”, so try not to fall asleep. It has great replay value though, so you can pick up where you slept off.
I’d like to end on a high note, and say Brad Pitt is still absolutely killing the game, and I think his career is re-peaking, if that’s possible.
All things considered, I’m giving “Ad Astra” a generous 5 out of 10 Bananas!