Pssst, want to check out Ad Astra in our new look?
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Despite feeling like an introspective space drama, Ad Astra is really action-packed and works as an adventure movie in a future very well-derived from the space programs we have now. If there are plans for it, they're in this movie and they feel like exactly what would happen (and how it would LOOK) if we keep investing in space. The realism is perhaps the film's greatest strength, taking its cue from 2001's second act and actively showing us the future, making it look brilliant, and using real physics to complement the experience (the way sound works is especially well done). It's also a father-son story writ large, about a deadbeat dad who left his family and never looked back, and a son who's had to live in his father's shadow and has only nominally learned to deal with it by ignoring it rather than facing it. The entire journey, across an impossible distance, is a therapy session (which sometimes dovetails into narration, a cinema sin when it's all pretty obvious) in a world where space travelers are constantly required to keep in chill. Mental health, one of this century's big concerns, has its fingerprints all over this. And then you can also look at it from orbit and see that questions of isolation and interconnectivity are really broader human issues, and that human pettiness is at odds with human reality in the grander scheme, the need to reconnect with a father really the need to connect with people as a whole, as opposed to seeking something else, something necessarily better to our misanthropic idea of humanity, out there. In the film, that's the cosmos, but in our world, it may be fiction, or hobbies, or materialism, or whatever. Ad Astra is pretty thought-provoking for what is on the surface of it an exciting space adventure.
If you love the high speed tempo of 2001, Blade Runner, and the original Solaris, you will also love this stepchild :) I certainly did, it was great.
I really liked this. Slower-tempo than I expected from a space adventure/drama movie, but it was a nice change. The action was gritty and realistic, and the abandoned child/absent father relationship was different from the usual.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!