ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mission To Neptune: Ad Astra

Updated on October 19, 2019
Source

Synopsis

Man's exploration of places beyond Earth could potentially be catastrophic for their home planet in Ad Astra. Set at a time in the future, Brad Pitt stars as Roy McBride, an Air Force Major who agrees to help the military investigate the energy surges that have heavily damaged the resources of the American Space Command forces. McBride learns that the surges originate from a spaceship whose crew was a part of the Lima Project, sent into space when Roy was still a boy. Their mission was to determine if life existed elsewhere. Scientists had stopped receiving communication from Lima years earlier, but military brass believes that Roy's father, H. Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), who commanded the mission, may still be alive and bent on destruction. They want Roy to try and reason with Cliff, and team the younger McBride with Colonel Pruitt (Donald Sutherland), who'd flown on other missions with Roy's father. The plan involves them heading from the Earth to the moon. A confrontation on the moon, however, leaves Pruitt unable to continue. Roy, though, catches a shuttle to Mars with another crew. They get word of another ship in trouble along the way, but attempts to find any living people unsuccessful.

On Mars, McBride gets detained after sending his father a message that openly affects him. In a secluded room, Roy speaks with Helen Lantos (Ruth Negga), who shows him some classified information about the Lima Project. Helen, like Roy, has a personal interest in Lima, for her parents were part of Cliff's crew. When the crew felt their mission was accomplished, they met opposition from Cliff. When they tried to abandon ship, Cliff cut off their life support. Helen and Roy agree that he should finish the job he was sent to do. She gets him to a secret passage to the ship with the crew that brought him. Before he goes, Helen tells Roy details about the final leg of the journey that he didn't know.

Evaluation

Ad Astra, a Latin term that means "to the stars," is an entertaining look at the danger of space travel. Director and co-writer James Gray not only shows the obvious perils of space travel, but he also shows the danger isolation can bring. Confrontation in such an environment tends to end quickly and decisively. For example, when Roy and another astronaut answer a distress signal, they encounter an agitated orangutan, and Roy realizes one or the other must die to end the primate's threat. As he heads to Neptune, Roy is often left alone with his thoughts, many of which involve his estranged wife, Eve (Liv Tyler), and the things which caused their rift. Cliff, too, has spent years living with his decisions, as well as the knowledge he hasn't shared about the Lima Project. Some have likened Ad Astra to an outer space version of Apocalypse Now - and with good reason, given the severity of the situation. I also saw elements of Gravity in this film, as Roy and others much deal with the space elements that can bring their journey to an end. The movie, though, doesn't explain how Roy seems to reach his destination in a time frame that seems very quick by current standards.

Pitt has the primary responsibility of carrying this film, and he does a very good job. As opposed to his tough, but friendly and outgoing, character in Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood, Roy is necessarily tough, but he's more subdued. He has to have a clear head for the mission, with emotions in the back of his mind. He wishes the reunion with his father were an amicable one, but he has to face the reality that might not happen. Roy also makes the effort to save his fellow travelers, including his attempt to repair a colleague's damaged helmet with duct tape. Jones is good in support as Cliff, who has lived with a form of space madness. He's held many of Lima's results to himself, and may not be responsible for the surges Roy was sent to stop. Sutherland and Negga essentially appear in extended cameos, but offer fine support as well.

Conclusion

At this point in time, man still debates and seeks answers regarding the existence of life in other places. In Ad Astra, man seems to have come to a definitive conclusion. The problem is that conclusion may have fatal ramifications for mankind. A man with some inside knowledge about a mission's last potential survivor may be the key to saving the world from some of the mission's consequences. Civilization should not have to pay the ultimate price for the natural curiosity about what's out there.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give Ad Astra three stars. Looking to avoid the eternal starry night.

Ad Astra trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Pat Mills 

      19 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Thanks Umesh. Good luck here on HubPages.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      19 months ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Nice review. Thanks.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Pat Mills 

      21 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Thanks Mel. In fact some have compared this to the film and novella. It's another good space adventure flick, but I prefer The Martian among more recent releases.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      21 months ago from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado

      I always love space flicks. But from the beginning of your review this sounded like Heart of Darkness, via Apocalypse Now, set in space. Not a bad idea. Great review.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)