It’s all about Brad! His performance is wonderfully nuanced and at the same time extremely powerful.
I’m going to get the slight negatives out of the way first. Ad Astra is the new Gravity, it’s the new 2001, and it’s the new Interstellar. In part, this is where the film ever so slightly falls down for me. I was yearning for something completely original. And while the film does have some original elements, it certainly borrows a lot from previous films. Also, I couldn’t help but think the script was done a little by the numbers. The start of the film throws you straight back into your set. It’s thrilling action straight away. Then into a slow-paced burn. 20 minutes in, cue a thrilling catastrophe. Slow burn again for 20 minutes. Cue another catastrophe. And so on. To me, it felt almost timed.
Now that’s out of the way, definitely go and see this on the biggest screen you can find. The one thing everyone will agree on is how beautiful the film is. The cinematography is stunning. For me, the biggest comparison would be Gravity. I loved Gravity when it came out and the cinema experience was sublime. Ad Astra is absolutely of the same caliber.
The other high point to the film is the score. I really did love it. There’s a piece of music when the first rocket takes off, and I was completely mesmerised by it, and the entire film is scored perfectly.
In the end, I don’t think this film would have been half the film without Pitt’s subtle yet strong performance. I’ve always rated Brad Pitt very highly. I think he’s one of the great actors of today, and this film really shows it.