Set sometime in the future, after mankind has colonised the Moon and Mars,
Earth is suddenly hit by electrical surges from outer space.
The first surge comes in a spectacular opening sequence when astronaut
Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) is working outside on an antennae that
stretches above the clouds.
Surviving the near disaster Roy is approached by his superiors who tell him
that his father, astronaut Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), who was
believed to be dead, might still be alive and could be responsible for
sending the surges to earth from deep space.
It then becomes Roy’s mission to travel to Neptune and confront his father.
Roy on his journey must travel via the moon, which is now an outpost for
bandits and pirates, and Mars.
Told partly in voiceover and in flashbacks, the journey that Roy makes is
for the most part a slow one that’s only broken up by a number of action
set pieces. Unfortunately the action takes up only a small part of his
journey and Ad Astra’s pace has more in common with Kubrick’s “2001” – long
lingering shots of the vast openness of space and space crafts – than it
does the heady excitement of “Gravity”.
Ad Astra is without doubt Pitt’s movie as he’s the one constant in it, it’s
no spoiler to say that Tommy Lee Jones’s role, while pivotal to the story,
is minimal and Liv Tyler who pops up in flashbacks as Roy’s wife amounts to
no more than a cameo role.
Ad Astra will no doubt split opinions, it does look fantastic and Pitt is
great. However it’s slow pacing and lack of action is no doubt going to