Movie Review: Ad Astra

Ad Astra is a popular Latin phrase meaning “through hardships to the stars”.

The new movie starring Brad Pitt, “Ad Astra” is mostly about one thing. What would happen to any human being if he or she were traveling in space for a very long period of time, with no hope of ever returning home again?

What the world knows right now is traveling to Mars or further is going to take a huge amount of new technology, and trillions of dollars. Phase one of this new technology will have to address the huge problem of keeping any human being from going insane over months and years of traveling through the nothingness of space. Environment simulators, deep sleep and so many other technologies would be necessary for such a huge undertaking of long term space travel. The realization that the longer you travel away from the earth, would mean that much time again, to ever return home. Long periods of time being confined to small spaces with many hours of little or nothing to do is another problem. Like any person in prison knows, “while you’re in here, there is no place to go”.

As for the film Ad Astra, the story is about an astronaut Roy McBride, played by Brad Pitt trying to rescue his father, Clifford McBride, played by Tommy Lee Jones who is deep in space near Saturn and may have gone insane, along with all in his party – that left earth some 12 years earlier.

I thought this movie was either slow or boring in too many places, because the story is mostly about several mishaps in space as Roy tries to save his father and also prevent power surges that are being emitted from his father’s space ship. I thought the technology behind the power surges did not make much sense, considering the 2.5 billion mile distance from the edge of Saturn to planet Earth. The special effects of this film will remind everyone of “Gravity” from 2013, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. I thought Gravity was a far better movie, that had excellent space special effects along with a better story. Ad Astra tries to make up for a mostly weak story with great special effects and it fails in some areas and succeeds in others.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for Ad Astra is a solid 82%, but because of the slow moving parts of some of this story, I give this movie only a 75% rating, with a mild recommendation.

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