"First Man" Movie Review
We all know how the Apollo 11 mission to the moon goes. With the line “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Neil Armstrong became one of the most famous Americans ever for being the first person to walk on the moon.
But imagine the mission before it was a success, where trials and tests leading up to the risky journey were riddled with mistakes, mishaps, and failures. That’s the focus of First Man; the anxiety and emotion involved when a family man trains to leave Earth and his family…potentially forever.
What I found challenging about the film is being emotionally invested into a character who is practically devoid of emotion. Ryan Gosling, who’s the king of the stoic demeanor, plays Armstong. And while impressive sound design keeps the film immersive, slow pacing and rigid characters…like emotionless Armstrong and hyper insensitive Buzz Aldrin…make it difficult to connect with.
Additionally, despite many IMAX worthy segments, IMAX formatting is saved exclusively for the lunar landing, by which point I was checked out. Damien Chazelle typically commands attention in his films and concludes with phenomenal finales. With First Man, despite having calculated execution, he doesn’t quite stick the landing.
Acting and Casting - 1 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 1 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 1 | Reviewer's Preference - 0 | What does this mean?