- Ad Astra review by MJ
I want to score this minus 2 simply for wasting 2 hours of my life that I will never get back. It's very slow going, very boring and has virtually no story to speak of.
There is almost no action so if you're an action fan there is nothing here for you. If you like a great story there is nothing for you either. If you like a psychological drama about characters there is nothing here for you because Brad Pitt's character is basically an unfeeling robotic moron and his father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is just a lunatic and not worth searching for.
The ending is useless too but don't worry about that because you don't want to be watching this pile of crap anyway so the ending is the least of your worries.
In summary, don't bother because it's one of the worst films ever made.
13 out of 14 members found this review helpful.
Doesn't go quite as far as the stars
- Ad Astra review by CS
If you're expecting Aliens, Star ship Troopers or even the tripped out grandeur of 2001 A Space Odessey, this film isn't for you. Admittedly, it is slow, but not without merit. The story is an interesting one and although ultimately unsatisfactory, its still worth the price of admission. Pitt is quality here, to say that he is unemotional is a misunderstanding of the character he plays. His calm demeanour and level headedness under conditions of extreme danger are what gets him chosen for his mission. His one Achilles heel is the very object of his search, one which has cost him his relationship with his wife, played by the very easy on the eye Liv Tyler, who makes a brief cameo here. Much of the film is metaphor, which I fear, is the reason that some people just won't get it, but it does go to some lengths to show The Hero's Journey and the difficult and often dark choices which must be made along the way. The film looks very good and has a strange , almost 1970's feel. It is visually beautiful in many scenes but let down by a drab performance from Tommy Lee Jones and underwhelming dialogue in the end confrontation, which certainly could've been a lot better. Not brilliant, but definitely not the Pitts either.
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
Beautiful but vacuous and poor plot and writing
- Ad Astra review by PJ
Visually this is really impressive and hats off to the DP, art and props/sets depts and especially FX houses. What lets this film down is Brad Pit and the writing and directing. Long verbose monologues (telling rather than showing - I actually think this would have worked better without all the monologues.
The writing is poor - trying to be an exploration into farther son issues/relationships and absent farther etc. It falls short of its other goal of exploration, search for ETs and a viable story. It kind of has the same pretentiousness as interstellar and sometimes the same level of poor physics.
If you want good sci fi watch, Moon, Solaris, or 2001. Fundimentally its boring. The original Russian Solaris is near 3 hours long and is way more engaging. It's a shame because a lot of hard work has gone into this film but its script and direction are lacking.
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
A slow character study, with impressive images
- Ad Astra review by BG
If you're looking for something consistently exciting and pacy, I can strongly advise you to look elsewhere.
Ad Astra is a slow, deliberate character study of a difficult man. Brad Pitt's character is an astronaut whose laid-back veneer (his superiors note his pulse rate never goes above 80bpm) hides a lifetime of iron-willed self-control and emotional repression. Emotionally distant, dedicated solely to the mission of the moment, he is the perfect astronaut and a shell of a human being.
The film takes great pains to soak us into his routine, with slow and deliberate repetition over the course of the film's running time.
This is effective to some degree, because when a deviation occurs, it has more impact because of the approach. However, it's also going to make the movie quite boring for viewers seeking a more propulsive experience.
Story-wise, it's slender but effective; powerful electromagnetic bursts have begun to hit Earth, and Pitt's 'Roy' is sent on a mission to see if they're originating from the long lost mission that claimed his father decades earlier.
To go further into the plot would be fruitless for two reasons: there isn't much more to go into, and the few emotional and visceral punches the script pulls off depend on going in without excessive knowledge.
Director James Gray manages some very impressive visuals in a great many scenes. The space travel and lunar surface scenes etc are all extremely well designed and executed (with some tongue in cheek comments on commercialisation which seem very likely to prove accurate if humanity ever does manage to fund such expensive endeavours), and they look fantastic. There are also weird and psychedelic visual moments that are powerfully reminiscent of Kubrick's '2001', and nice nightmarish touches such as constant psychological evaluations and 'calming' rooms that seem anything but calming...
If you're in the mood for something slow-burn, immersive and visually very impressive, Ad Astra may be right for you. Personally I found it a bit of a drag, but I couldn't help regularly admiring its visuals, ideas or performances.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.