Vol. 12, No. 26 – Sept 25 – Oct 8, 2019 – Movie Review

Movie Review by Cindy Summers
Ad Astra
1 out of 4 palm trees

When the government discovers earth’s solar system is on the verge of being destroyed, they call on astronaut Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) to save the world. Though proud to serve his country, Roy learns that the surges threatening to end humanity are due to the actions of an astronaut believed to be lost in space while on a quest to discover non-human intelligent life, who is also Roy’s father astronaut Clifford McBride. Released by 20th Century Fox, Directed by James Gray, Written by James Gray and Ethan Gross, and starring Brad Pitt as Major Roy McBride and Tommy Lee Jones as H. Clifford McBride.

After being briefed on the sordid details of his new mission, astronaut Roy McBride begins his ever long journey by taking a “commercial” flight to the moon where he encounters moon pirates on moon rovers who attempt to thwart his mission, but Roy’s rover survives the battle. Trouble continues on his shuttle to Mars when they receive a distress call and after bording have to battle man eating baboons in space, but with many dead and his mission partner severely injured, Roy remains unharmed.

On Mars, Roy records a message to his father and is immediately taken off the mission, his emotional attachment now being believed to be a psychological risk to himself and the mission. While there he meets SpaceCom base facility Director Helen Lantos, a Martian native who secretly shares more bad news about his father. Lantos’ parents were on the Lima mission with Roy’s father and were among those Roy’s father murdered when they tried to abandon the mission and return to earth.

Roy sneaks onto the ship sent to destroy his father’s ship, and ends up killing the entire crew to protect himself and continue the mission. Roy finds the Lima Project ship near Neptune and sets out to destroy it as it’s unstable malfunctioning anti-matter power source is causing problems throughout the solar system. He sets up the nuclear payload to destroy Lima and returns in spacesuits to his ship with his father, but Clifford breaks away in the transit and intentionally drifts off into space despite Roy’s efforts to save him.

Roy recovered the data from Lima and returns to his ship in his spacesuit using a panel from Lima to block asteroids as he flew through the rings of Neptune. Roy’s ship did not have enough fuel to return, so he used the nuclear blast from Lima to jettison him back to earth where he reconnects with his wife and himself.

Brad Pitt’s talents were underutilized in “Ad Astra” speaking in a monotone voice and acting robotic and emotionless the entire movie. The movie also drags on through scenes with long, uneventful periods spent traveling around, and seems unbelievable the amount of time spent flying around in space in only a spacesuit using unbolted panels to deflect asteroids.

I think the $88 million budget spent on this family drama in space could have been better spent if just donated to the space program, and if you’re interested in what’s happening in space, your time would be better spent enjoying an evening outside under the stars.

Rated: PG-13
124 minutes

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