I didn’t really expect Ad Astra (“to the stars”) to be good and yet I managed to be disappointed.
The trailer gave me a sense that it wouldn’t be good but I kept seeing good reviews and thought, I’ll give it a shot. It wasn’t worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, Brad Pitt is an excellent actor and the movie is beautiful. I have seen reviews comparing Ad Astra to “2001: A Space Odyssey”, “Solaris”, “Gravity” and “Interstellar“. Sure, you can compare it to those movies, but it would be more fair to say that it is more like “Mission to Mars“.
The movie consists of a very short first act, a very long and entirely superfluous second act and a third act that doesn’t even deal with the objective of the protagonist in a meaningful way, with an extremely short and completely unearned happy ending in the final seconds before the credits.
The first act could have led to a good movie but the second act wastes that setup with a number of set pieces that are completely irrelevant to the story and even repetitive.
I have no problem with science fiction movies being unrealistic – it goes with the territory – but if you set out to make “the most realistic depiction of space travel that’s been put in a movie” then you have failed if you end up with “Ad Astra”. For example, I fully accept the “gravity is always the same everywhere” in Star Wars but in “Ad Astra” it is either on (and Earth-like) or off. There are plenty of examples of things that do not work consistently in this movie, unfortunately one of those are the story.
A waste of time.