Now that August has passed and we are pushing toward the end of September, the supposed dead period of movie releases is now over. With that, the release of Rambo, Goldfinch, and most importantly Ad Astra had people excited. After all, who doesn’t like seeing a space based movie in IMAX. Space has always proved to be a strong interest for people as it is the unknown. Throw in Brad Pitt as the lead and its no wonder why people wanted to see this.
After seeing Ad Astra though I can’t help but feel this movie was a massive disappointment. This movie had a decent cast, a strong storyline and a cool atmosphere, but was not engaging in the least.
The strongest part of the movie was without a doubt the imagery and visuals. The movie in IMAX looked beautiful, super realistic, and very appealing. For a space movie, the visuals absolutely lived up to the hype and then some. I was blown away how real the space ships and various backgrounds looked.
Another strong part was the performance of Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones. Both were very strong in their roles, with Pitt shouldering a large chunk of the movie mostly by himself. The movie featured a lot of solo shots with Pitt showcasing his acting chops, something that had me reminded of the movie Gravity, a space movie with Sandra Bullock.
As far as Tommy Lee Jones, his role was very small, but he made his screen time count. Jones plays Pitt’s father, but does a good job coming across unattached and cold, yet still emotionally struggling with the lack of a role he had in Pitt’s life.
Unfortunately that is where the good things end for this movie. The tough part is this movie doesn’t ever engage the audience and never makes you feel invested in the story from even the beginning.
One problem I had is the trailer shows Pitt’s rover being shot at by space pirates like that is a big plot, but that is very much irrelevant in this story and by the middle you can tell it meant very little to nothing.
The only important thing to come out of that was that Thomas Pruitt (played by Donald Sutherland) ended up having a heart problem and had to back out and head to surgery, but that is the last we ever hear from him, a supposed key figure in the movie. This leads to Roy McBride (Pitt’s character) doing the mission on his own.
The worst part of the movie though is that the ending is just brutally ineffective. Throughout you spend your time waiting for something big to happen or something that makes the story pop, but nothing significant happens. The issue is there is nothing that draws you in or makes you feel like you need to see what happens next. It is a constant flow of bland story lines with very little in the way that makes you doubt the mission will be accomplished.
Criteria - 59%
I hate to be heavily critical of a movie where I liked the performance by the main actor, but this movie left a lot to be desired with some loose ends and some a mediocre story. For a movie that had a lot of promise, this one is a rough start to a supposedly strong last third of the year for movies.