This humble opinion is brought to by you T. K. Edwards
AD ASTRA – Rated PG-13 – 2 hr. 2 mins
Director: James Gray, Dan Bradley
Cast: Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland
Astronaut Roy McBride undertakes a mission across an unforgiving solar system to uncover the truth about his missing father and his doomed expedition that now, 30 years later, threatens the universe.
NO SPOILERS BELOWAD ASTRA isn’t a movie…it’s a magic trick. The film gives you some amazing visuals and an outstanding leading man to distract your attention from the fact that the movie’s story is not as great as it seems. The fact of the matter is, AD ASTRA’s story is weak, but because you’re watching Brad Pitt on screen and another one of his exceptional performances you’re not going to notice that, a lot (if not all) of this movie is below average. Science aside (which I will get back too), the plot is as basic as it gets, and we’ve heard it a thousand times before. My dad left. My dad died. My dad might still be alive. My journey to find my dad begins now. There is nothing original about AD ASTRA except that it is Brad Pitt’s 1st Space Adventure Movie – (which was extremely fun to write just now, Lmao). Now let’s talk about the science portion of AD ASTRA because it is atrocious. I don’t know if the directors were trying to ground this movie in reality or make it more of a fantastical period piece, but either way it didn’t work because of all the “space laws” were pretty much broken and the set pieces just added to that confusion. If you’re going to make a space movie your sets must follow the rules you are suggesting. For example, in the 2016 film PASSENGERS the film’s “space laws” were followed. Everything in the film looked like things that could not have been invented for a very long time or were not even at all possible. They had cryo-tubes, a Michael Sheen robot that served you drinks and an amusement park ride that dragged you behind the spaceship you were hitching a ride on. Far fetched and we knew this because the story, set pieces and special effects supported this idea. In AD ASTRA, they do not do this. They make you think this is in our possible near future and a LOT of the stuff in this movie are not possible without some sort of explanation that they do not give to you, which in turn makes the movie distracting. There’s also some other science in the film that they screw up, like…umm…I don’t know…let’s pick one at random…I know…GRAVITY!!! How do you screw that one up? That should’ve been the third question after they green lit this picture. What genre is the film? Sci-Fi. Who should we cast? Brad Pitt. What are we going to do about gravity in this film? It’s space, it’ll work itself out. No no no no no nooooooooooooooooo! One thing I did like about AD ASTRA is that it has proven once again what movie going audiences have already known for quite some time and that is…”IN BRAD WE TRUST!!!” Brad Pitt can make a very weak movie with a story that is not written very well, look better than it actually is. Some prime examples of movies from his resume that do just this are the following:
- THE DEVIL’S OWN
- THE TREE OF LIFE
- WAR MACHINE
- THE COUNSELLOR
- BY THE SEA
- THE MEXICAN
- COOL WORLD (Honorable Mention)
Pitt is one of my “ALL TIME” favorite actors and it seems like everything he does, he puts all he has into making the best film possible, but sometimes he’s working with a bad story. And sometimes having Brad Pitt in your movie is just not enough. So, if you’re a big Sci-Fi movie fan, my suggestion is to stay away from AD ASTRA because it will only piss you off to no end. But if you’re just a fan of Brad Pitt and don’t care about the laws of science, then it’s totally up to you to watch this one either at the theater or on your couch at home. Until next time, thanks for reading.