'Ad Astra' Is A Space Adventure That's Almost Amazing
Ad Astra actualizes a grand cinematic experience with visual flare and psychological proficiency. But the film’s finale settles for less than what the narrative was capable of achieving, and while strong emotional value seems to be the film’s goal, “indifference” is the takeaway.
Ad Astra follows an astronaut, Roy McBride played by Brad Pitt, as he helps establish communication with his father amid catastrophic power surges thought to be caused by the abandoned “Lima Project” in the outer parts of our solar system. Roy spends much of the journey assessing his mental state and his humanity as he tries to reconcile the internal conflicts caused by his father’s absence.
It’s just as much an intellectual journey as it is a space travel mission, which could be off-putting for many hoping for Interstellar type entertainment. But for those willing to explore space and psychology equally, director James Gray establishes an engrossing arena for both to thrive through convincing visuals and a monotonous yet captivating inner dialog narrated by Roy.
In this regard, the expedition that ensues for Roy is spectacular. It’s when Roy reaches his destination, however, that the narrative falters, attempting to be profound, but ultimately coming off cliche.
That final destination is what sours my enjoyment of Ad Astra, leaving me to objectively appreciate the film, but subjectively dislike it. In the movie, the Lima Project’s search for intelligent life was a well-intentioned project that couldn’t successfully complete its mission. Unfortunately, the same can be said for Ad Astra.
Acting and Casting - 2 | Visual Effects and Editing - 2 | Story and Message - 1 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 2 | Reviewer's Preference - 1 | What does this mean?