When Ad Astra was announced way back in 2016, space nerds were very excited. Brad Pitt’s casting in 2017 made them bounce off the walls. After it’s release in September of last year, both critics and fans were happy with what they got to saw. With amazing visuals and great acting, Director James Gray made a truly great space film. Films like ‘The Martian’ and ‘Interstellar’ have made the competition very tough. However, Ad Astra still made a good name for itself, despite not achieving a high turn out on the box office. This is our review of the movie Ad Astra, and Brad Pitt’s wonderful role in it.
Ad Astra is Latin for “to the stars”, and that is all the movie is about. The movie’s plot is a fairly simple one. Humans have now ventured much further into the solar system. However, there is a ‘Surge’ coming from around Neptune, which is a threat to human civilization. Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) was the astronaut chosen to see what was going on. NASA chose him as it might have something to do with his father, a famous astronaut named H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones). What made it even more difficult for Roy was that no one had heard from his father for over 16 years. After that, the audience embarks on a journey that takes them across the Solar system. This is as far as we can go without venturing into spoiler territory.
The visuals – A breathtaking journey across the Solar System
By far, the most stunning aspect of this movie is the visuals. The film takes us to an amazing journey to Neptune while passing through the Moon, Mars and finally Neptune. The first scene of the film involved a bunch of Astronauts jumping off of a space antenna. That scene was planned and captured brilliantly, with not much of it being science fiction. John Nugent had this to say in his review of Ad Astra on Empire Online:
There’s a (literally) head-spinning opening sequence at the ‘International Space Antenna’, an encounter with an unexpected space-primate, and a moon-buggy chase which offers a thrilling preview of what ‘Fast & Furious In Space’ might look like. It has fun, even if its leading man doesn’t.
Director James Gray wanted this to be an extremely realistic space adventure, with real-time space travel. In that department, it truly delivered. Some of the visuals of this movie left the audience awestruck.
Acting – As usual, Brad Pitt delivers
The main star attraction in this movie was Brad Pitt. His character, Roy McBride, had a very strained relationship with his father, yet he loved him a lot. Moreover, he had an estranged marriage with his wife, portrayed by Liv Tyler. Brad Pitt played these two internal emotional conflicts of his character brilliantly on screen. Moreover, Tommy Lee Jones, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland, and Ruth Negga’s supporting roles complimented his acting fairly well. They delivered on their roles, despite limited screen time.
All in all, Ad Astra is a very pleasant watch. For all the space nerds out there, the visual effects used on the Moon and on Venus will simply blow you away. If you love the wonders of the universe outside of our planet, then this movie is going to be a delight for you.