Ad Astra – Film Review

In the not too distant future, human kind will have settled on the Moon and Mars and our ever growing curiosity of the vast expanse of our universe has led to a manned expedition to the far reaches of our solar system. With Earth under threat of mysterious power surges that threaten our existence, Major McBride embarks on a top secret mission to Neptune to investigate the cause of the power surges in an effort to save humanity.

Ad Astra is produced by and stars Brad Pitt as Major Roy McBride. Over fifteen years ago, McBride’s father and famed astronaut, H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) joined the ‘Lima Project’ in a mission to reach the edge of our solar system to search for intelligent life and habitable planets outside of our own region. Believing that H. Clifford McBride is alive and stranded in Neptune’s orbit and the space craft’s damaged Dark Matter Reactor is the cause of the power surges, US Space Command seeks out his son, Major Roy McBride, to mount a Top Secret rescue mission to bring Clifford and crew back to Earth.

Accepting the mission, boarding a commercial flight to the Moon and being accompanied by Thomas Pruitt (Donald Sutherland), it quickly becomes apparent that there is more to this rescue mission than first thought. What is really happening with the Lima Project? Is his father actually alive? Are there secret objectives that McBride has not been made aware of? Ad Astra is more than just a sci-fi space film, it also has elements of a spy thriller.

Written and directed by James Gray, Ad Astra is a visually stunning space adventure. Right from the start of the film, you will find yourself excited, anxious and your heart will be racing. Brad Pitt is wonderful as Major Roy McBride, a character that prides himself on his ability to compartmentalise and remain calm and focused in the most stressful of situations. However, his resolve is put to the ultimate test as the mission progresses.

Tommy Lee Jones is equally as great in this film as H. Clifford McBride. A character that the entire Planet Earth praises for his sacrifice and success as an astronaut. Equally as focused as his son, Clifford is fixated on completing his mission at all costs. And after more than 15 years out in deep space, it most certainly takes a mental toll. Tommy Lee Jones portrays this troubled character beautifully.

Overall Ad Astra is a brilliant film, it has everything you would want from a space thriller, wonderful visuals, stunning score and even some freaky space experiments. There is, however, one thing I couldn’t look past, which was some of the physics towards the end of the film. Everything leading up to the climax at the end was amazing, but those last few scenes had me questioning ‘how’ (of what occurred in the film) and if it would have actually worked in real life. Other than that, I absolutely loved Ad Astra and I would definitely recommend heading along to your local cinema to give it a go.

Ad Astra is out now in a cinema near you!

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