Ad Astra ★★

Perfectly balanced between the melodrama of Interstellar and the icy character study of First Man, it seems the attractive forces cancel out and all that’s left is flaccid, ineffective nothing. The voiceover by itself would be enough to keep the film’s momentum at near-zero, but even the script itself is stilted, as well as constantly redundant, undermining visual cues and just plainly getting in the way.

 As for positives, it often does look nice, but in a particularly hollow way: even films like Interstellar married their visuals to a certain grandiosity of emotion, at least giving the audience some approximation of how we’re supposed to relate to the material. Here, it’s all empty. The best we get outside of visuals would be the moments of worldbuilding that don’t come across as trite. Most do come across that way, however, usually due to an awkward line reinforcing just how ‘normal’ space travel is in this world, or something to that effect. When things are a bit more subtle, the ideas here are executed well, if not terribly novel. If left in the backdrop more, or perhaps fleshed out into a true hard sci-fi tech showcase, the film would most likely have felt more natural. 

Oh yeah, and Pitt’s performance does a fair bit with the given material, with much of the success largely non-vocal.

Nick liked this review