Ad Astra: a review by Nick Scott

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Nick Scott says: “…..It is the most satisfying film I have seen in a long time….”

Here’s Nick’s review of  the James Gray directed film “Ad Astra”:   Brad Pitt, Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones. These were three famous actors I had never seen in the same film. Part of the reason I went to see Ad Astra was to find out how they would be used.

Many other reviews have remarked on Brad Pitt’s acting skill in this movie, and while that is true, the film is grounded with a fantastic script. The temptation to follow other Hollywood “space movies” must have been there but this movie avoided all the obvious, highly emotional stuff that goes with much that is in Hollywood films. This movie takes it slowly, apart from a dramatic first scene.

Brad Pitt’s character is looking for his father, who was considered lost in space as part of a mission to the outer Solar System. At many stages I thought I would be able to predict what would happen but no, the story kept taking interesting turns.

Tommy Lee Jones plays the father character and makes him  similar to many roles he has taken on eg: The Marshall in The Fugitive, but with a touch more softness than usual. Sutherland plays a supporting character who helps the character played by Pitt and uses his age very well.

Before I saw the film, I heard a vague plot description about a man finding his father and being told to destroy his work. This is true but there is so much more involved. This results in a well-paced film that is very satisfying.

This year being the fiftieth anniversary of 2001 a Space Odyssey I was looking for any visual reference to that classic film, I thought there was something that resembled the eye of the computer HAL, but it must not have been intentional. This film stands on its own feet and is very original.

Nick Scott Nick Scott has a B.A from The University of Waikato where he studied film under Sam Edwards. Nick has retained a keen interest in cinema. He studied Te Reo Maori at Te Wananga O Aotearoa part-time for 3 years and then from 2014 to 2016 Nick collaborated in writing “The Traveller’s guide to Maori Place Names”.

 

Ad Astra is currently showing at Event Cinemas in Tauranga, Papamoa and Mount Maunganui.  Check the Event Cinema website for information about showings near you.

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